USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.

We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More links on Minnesota budget, transparency, bonding bill,

Buoyant Gov. Dayton signs budget bills that end shutdown
Gov. Mark Dayton was in remarkably buoyant spirits this morning as he sat down at a desk to sign the bills that end Minnesota's government shutdown.

Shutdown-ending deal is unpopular but the state slowly returns to business
It's over. The longest state government shutdown in recent U.S. history officially ended at 9:08 a.m. Wednesday when Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the last of 12 budget bills the Legislature passed during a marathon one-day special session that ended before daybreak.

List: What’s in the Minnesota bonding bill’s-in-the-minnesota-bonding-bill/
Here’s a rundown of the projects funded in the bonding bill, listed by agency. A spreadsheet detailing the projects can be found here.

Bill by bill: Special session ends shutdown
The 20-day shutdown is officiallyover, after a 12-hour-plus legislative marathon. A quick summary of all bills passed, complete with comparison to the conference committee version previously passed (GOP version) and Governor Mark Dayton's previous budget, is here at MPR.

Budget deal means big changes for schools, health
When laid-off government workers go back to their jobs Thursday, they immediately will deal with the effects of what's in the budget and borrowing bills signed into law.

At a glance: Health and Human Services budget
When Gov. Mark Dayton signed the new Health and Human Services $11.4 billion budget into law, months of political wrangling over spending for health care and welfare programs came to an end. Here's a look at its impact on specific programs.

Health care providers, advocates feel budget sting
Advocates, nonprofits and health care providers continue to scrutinize a state Health and Human Services budget that could restructure social services and public healthcare in Minnesota for years to come.

Nursing home groups say budget deal has mixed messages
As the reviews of the budget deal continue to come in, nursing home officials say that the agreement  approved by the Republican Legislature and signed by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton sends mixed messages to seniors and nursing home operators.

Workers relieved by shutdown's end, outraged by budget
While thousands of public and private sector workers are relieved to be returning to work after the nearly three-week state government shutdown, they are outraged by a budget that protects millionaires and increases the burden on Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents.

Nonprofits group says new budget will hurt low-income people
That state budget compromise reached in the wee hours this morning will impact lower-income persons in many ways, including higher education and public safety.

Small cities anticipate LGA funding delay
Just as the Legislature is about to begin a special session to settle the state's budget, the revenue department has issued a release stating that Local Government Aid (LGA) checks--scheduled to be issued tomorrow--will be delayed until at least July 27.

Transportation bill to make improvement, but falls short of need
The nearly $500 million bonding bill signed into law Wednesday will borrow $10 million for local road maintenance and safety improvements.  The bill also designates nearly $56 million dollars toward the state's transportation infrastructure, which includes $33 million for local bridge repair and replacement. Twin Cities transitways will receive $20 million for projects that include the 35W south Bus Rapid Transit line, or BRT, and the Cedar Avenue BRT line.

Agreement between Governor Dayton and Legislature cuts transit by $54 million
Details of the agreement between Governor Dayton and the Legislature on funding transportation emerged Monday afternoon. The bill includes more than $54 million in reductions to mass transit in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. While this level of cuts is far below the $118 million proposed by the Legislature, the Governor’s budget had proposed no reductions in funding for transit.

Jobs and economic development budget bill a mixed bag for workers, employers and housing
Governor Dayton and the Legislature approved a jobs and economic development bill that increases funding by $2 million in FY 2012-13, or one percent. That is a better than the $14 million in cuts approved by the Legislature, but not as good as the $4 million increase proposed by the Governor. Within that overall figure there is significant new funding for some elements of workforce training, business development and affordable housing, but cuts to other areas. All of these services are important blocks in building Minnesota’s future economic success.

Some pluses, minuses -- but no big surprises -- in higher-ed outcome
When the final, thumbs-up, thumbs-down version of the state’s higher-education bill was posted on the Minnesota Legislature’s website yesterday, it contained virtually nothing in the way of big surprises.

Higher education funding cut below FY 2000-01 levels in compromise agreement
Higher education is cut by $351 million in the agreement reached between Governor Dayton and the Legislature, a 12 percent cut in general fund support in FY 2012-13 and slightly less than in the legislative budget. As a result, the state’s investment in higher education will fall below FY 2000-01 levels (and that’s in actual dollars, not inflation-adjusted). These cuts will jeopardize Minnesota’s future economic success, creating challenges for students seeking to improve their skills and for employers counting on hiring an educated workforce.

School officials ponder funding, policy changes in budget
Education officials across the state spent the day poring over the $13.6 billion dollar K-12 education budget bill that Gov. Dayton signed into law Wednesday.

Public safety compromise still includes cuts in services for vulnerable populations
Governor Dayton and the Legislature have released a budget for public safety that increases funding by $17 million in FY 2012-13. The slight increase supports additional funding for prisons, public defenders and the courts, but the budget still includes cuts to services that will impact low-income families needing legal assistance, victims of crime and Minnesotans facing discrimination.

State parks could re-open for day use Friday
The end of Minnesota's government shutdown will bring the re-opening of state parks, one of the most visible casualties of the budget impasse, starting as early as Friday.

Dayton considering special session for Vikings stadium bill
Gov. Mark Dayton confirmed Wednesday morning that he's willing to call lawmakers back for a special session on a Vikings stadium bill.

Tom Powers Live: A new Vikings stadium is inevitable, so for now, backers should just back off
Lester Bagley said the Vikings are "assessing their options" after hearing that their quest for a new stadium will not be considered during this special session of the Legislature.  Oooooo, I'm scared.

Nobody said ending shutdown would be easy -- or painless
No one should have figured this would be easy.  And it wasn’t.  Republicans grimaced, DFLers winced, and  long recesses were the rule of the night as the Legislature tried to "quickly" end the longest shutdown in state history.

State agencies plan for slow restart
The Minnesota government shutdown on July 1 may have felt abrupt, but state agency planning for it had been going on for weeks.

2011 legislative debates segueing into beginning of 2012 campaign
The early hours this morning didn't so much mark the end of the 2011 legislative session as they did the beginning of the 2012 campaign.

DFL Reps seek to prohibit political party officers from working at the Legislature

by Briana Bierschbach
Published: July 20,2011
Time posted: 2:12 pm
Tags: governmentMindy GreilingRyan Winkler
DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler (Staff file photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)
A bill brought by a handful of DFL House members would prohibit all political party officials from also holding a job at the state Legislature.
Some liberal bloggers are already calling it the “Michael BrodkorbBill,” referring to the GOP Party deputy chair who also leads the Senate Republican’s communications team. The dual role has miffed plenty of Democrats around the Capitol, and  even became a key issue in a Republican-on-Republican row with RNC Committeewoman Pat Anderson during session.
The bill was introduced by DFL Reps. Ryan Winkler, Mindy Greiling, Jim Davnie, Kerry Gauthier, Rick Hansen, Carly Melin and Erin Murphy during Tuesday’s special session to pass the now-signed final budget bill.
Winkler said he can’t control how bloggers interpret the bill, saying only that elected officials should be answering to their constituents and there shouldn’t be “too much influcene from political parties” in the confines of the Capitol.
“I wouldn’t hire [DFL Party Chair] Ken Martin either,” Winkler said, adding that if GOP Rep. Tony Cornish hadn’t introduced a bill to stop legislator pay and other benefits during a government shutdown, he would have tacked that on to this bill as well.
“I don’t think we would have had a shutdown if legislators stopped getting paid and the political party wasn’t so influential on Republican legislators,” Winkler said.

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