DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values



Daily Brief: Friday, Dec. 19th, 2014

In the Know

Minnesota DFL
Dec. 19, 2014

Happy holidays!

The Minnesota DFL office will be closed Dec. 22 through Jan. 5, 2015. Have a safe and happy holiday!

2015 session

Dayton urges Minnesota lawmakers to swiftly approve flood-aid package upon 2015 session start, Star Tribune
Groups lay out their legislative wish lists, Star Tribune
House committee assignments, schedules released for 2015-16, Star Tribune
Democrats call foul on committee rosters, KSTP
First test of MN House GOP’s Greater MN priorities, mnpACT!
House GOP bounces Minneapolis’ Wagenius from longtime post on natural resources committee, Star Tribune
News release from DFL Speaker Paul Thissen: “I am deeply disappointed that Speaker-Designate Daudt has taken the unprecedented step of refusing to accept the individual the minority caucus has designated as its lead on a Minnesota House Committee. So much for the ‘balanced approach’ the Republicans touted repeatedly during the campaign. Again, the Republicans campaign rhetoric does not match its actions…Just because House Republicans don’t take climate change or protecting Minnesota’s water and air seriously doesn’t mean that the majority of Minnesotans agree with them. Rep. Jean Wagenius is a woman of great integrity who would bring much needed experience to the important work of the environment committee.”

Congressional delegation
After pressure from Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it will increase investments in high-speed broadband Internet connections for Minnesota, especially in rural communities. In a letter, the Senators told the FCC that high-speed Internet is particularly lacking in rural communities, and increasing investments in the E-rate program will allow rural schools in Minnesota and across the country to expand access to broadband.

“Our rural communities cannot compete in the 21st century economy when nearly 30 percent of residents in Greater Minnesota don’t have access to high-speed Internet,” said Sen. Franken. “That’s why we pressed the FCC to increase support for bringing broadband to our rural communities. By increasing improving broadband access in our schools and libraries, we can go a long way to closing the digital divide and helping make Minnesota more competitive in the global marketplace.”

“In today’s 21st century economy, access to high-speed Internet is essential to compete in the global marketplace,” Klobuchar said. “This action will help improve broadband connections in schools and libraries across Minnesota, and I will continue pushing to ensure Minnesotans have access to broadband, regardless of where they live, so families can stay connected and businesses can remain competitive.”

Last week, the FCC voted to approve a $1.5 billion funding increase to the E-rate program. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, expanding the E-rate program will help over an additional 2,000 schools and 350 libraries in Minnesota improve their access to high-speed broadband supported Wi-Fi.

You can read the full text of the Senators’ letter to the FCC here

Obama move on Cuba gets rave reviews from Latin America, The Hill
In a political gamble, Marco Rubio sticks to his tough line on Cuba, New York Times
U.S. agriculture has big appetite for Cuba trade, WCCO

Destination Medical Center
DMC plans unveiled, KAAL

Minnesota jobless rate hits lowest level since 2001, Star Tribune
Hotel, restaurant hiring has boomed despite minimum wage increase, Star Tribune
Restaurant, hotel hiring is booming in spite of minimum wage increase, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
Minnesota unemployment rate drops to 3.7 percent; 6,600 jobs added in November, MinnPost
Minnesota jobless rate dips to lowest since 2001, MPR

Education (early)
For early ed, all the world can be the stage, Star Tribune

House GOP bounces Minneapolis’ Wagenius from longtime post on natural resources committee, Star Tribune
Kurt Daudt starts speakership with vindictiveness, removes Wagenius from environment committee, mn progressive project
Speaker Daudt pulls ominous move in removal of Rep. Wagenius, mnpACT!

Chamber’s 2015 legislative wish list: tax cuts, rollback of minimum wage inflation index, Star Tribune
Chamber has minimum wage, transportation on agenda, MPR
This day in history – 1983: The Greyhound bus strike ended when members of the Amalgamated Transit Union ratified a new contract containing deep cuts in wages and benefits. The company claimed the concessions were needed to stay in business and compete with other transportation providers, such as airlines and rail. The Greyhound contract was one of many concessionary deals forced on working people during the 1980s.

Post-Obamacare, Minnesota uninsured rate drops to 6.7%, MinnPost

New laws
Four Minnesota laws that start Jan. 1, MPR

Gateway Corridor backers seek $3 million for analysis, Pioneer Press

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347