The State Senate is scrambling to try to help school districts after yet more problems for schools trying to give students the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment.
The statewide student testing system used to administer the MCA’s test has failed repeatedly throughout this spring’s testing season. First there were technological problems administering the test, then testing was halted for a suspected hacking attempt.
Actara, Platinum, Helix, Cruiser, Adage, Meridian, Centric, Flagship, Poncho, Titan, Clutch, Belay, Arena, Confidor, Merit, Admire, Ledgend, Pravado, Encore, Goucho, Premise, Assail, Intruder, Adjust and Calypso – clever names for deadly products. This partial list of neonicotinoid broad-spectrum pesticides are available for private and/or commercial use in Minnesota. Current research shows these products – in very small quantities – are deadly to many insects – and most alarmingly, also to our much needed and valued pollinators.
State Sen. Barb Goodwin District 41
I'm happy to report that the Minnesota Senate overwhelmingly passed one of my bills on Thursday, May 14, that would allow local governments to donate old or unused equipment. Rep. Carolyn Laine passed the bill in the MN House. Columbia Heights Fire Chief Gary Gorman brought the issue to our attention.
Under current law, local governments are required to sell extra equipment instead of donating it. However, government units often use specialized equipment that doesn't have a market value or alternative use. Sometimes new standards mean current equipment must be replaced. If not donated, this expensive equipment ends up in landfills.
Leslie McMurray Director, Payne Phalen District Council
On Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 some 85 residents, business owners and public partners convened for the 2015 Payne Phalen District Five Planning Council Annual Meeting. The meeting was convened by Board President Darlene Adams who spoke of the forty years of District Five's active presence and influence in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. District Five is governed by a 21-member community-elected Board and Directors serve 3-year terms. Seven open 3-year term seats and one partial 2-year term were filled at the Annual Meeting.
With under one month remaining in the 2015 Legislative Session, the work at the Capitol is focused on responsibly balancing the state’s budget. This task is made easier by the $1.86 billion surplus resulting from increased economic activity in Minnesota.
Minnesota continues to be a national leader in economic recovery following the recent recession. Thanks to responsible budgeting, we now have the opportunity to make wise investments that will put more jobs, money and opportunities in the hands of Minnesotans to continue this robust come-back.
To keep the flying insects at bay, Mary Lee Hagert’s son and husband donned mosquito nets during a picnic lunch. It was quite a feat to get the sandwiches into their mouths without also consuming a few mosquitoes. (submitted photo)
It snowed on my birthday, again.
While that's nothing out of the ordinary for Minnesotans with birthdays between mid-November and mid-March, I'm always stunned when I look out the window and see snow falling from the heavens ... on my April birthday.
Granted, this year it was only snow flurries. But just the same, I couldn't help but wonder if those late-season snowflakes were really necessary.
If you or a member of your family has had occasion to hire a lawyer in the past, you may have wondered about what characteristics in a lawyer would allow you the greatest chance for a successful result in a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost. Perhaps you considered what judges are looking for in a lawyer. This past January an article entitled, “What do judges think of lawyers?” published on the MinnPost.com website, by Hennepin County Judge Mel Dickstein may be summarized as follows:
Due to the recent avian flu outbreak that has been destroying turkey and chicken flocks in Minnesota, the Minnesota House has approved legislation recently that allows state agencies to respond, as well as ensure that our food supply remains safe.
In separate bills, the House has signed off on appropriating $900,000 to state agencies to fight the problem immediately, as well as setting aside $7 million in order to help them respond to avian flu over the next two years
Money Management MNCPA
Choosing an early withdrawal from your IRA can be a costly move, often resulting in unfavorable consequences such as tax penalties and loss of future growth. In an effort to discourage the early collection of designated retirement money during taxpayers’ working years, Uncle Sam imposes a 10-percent penalty in addition to one’s regular tax bill. A withdrawal made earlier than age 59½ could qualify for such a penalty unless an available exemption criterion is met.
With only a week of session left, many of us are asking where the last few months went. This week the E-12 Division met in conference committee several times to lay out the differences between our two bills. On Thursday the Senate also took up the Legacy Bill – which takes three-eighths of one percent of the state sales tax and uses the money to invest in clean water, outdoor heritage, arts and cultural heritage and parks and trails. The bill totals $537 million over the FY16-17 biennium and invests in hundreds of important projects that will protect and enhance important places all across the state.