Another messy end to legislative session

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Speaker Kurt Daudt

Really though, how often is it pretty?The Strib editorializes​ about this year’s session and the crush of 11th hour legislation. “By operating in secret and pushing their work against the constitutional deadline to an extraordinary degree, legislators left much in doubt in the session’s final hours. They failed to operate with the timeliness and transparency that should be fundamental to a representative body entrusted with a large public purse. … .”

Real ID also falters. For the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger reports, “ … after a near breakthrough on adjusting Minnesota’s driver’s licenses to adopt federal Real ID requirements, talks broke down Sunday morning. The issue, which has bedeviled Republican and Democratic lawmakers for months, was over the idea of granting undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses.”

But now we’ll have a primary. For the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger (again) says, “Under the new system, voters would make their February partisan presidential picks in an election run by the state, rather than in caucuses run by parties. Whether individual voters picked a Republican ballot or a Democratic one would become public, under the new law. But voters would not be bound in any way to their partisan picks in future elections nor would they have to register with any party in advance of the presidential primary.”

More messesFor the PiPress, Bob Shaw writes, “Regulators have issued tougher rules for two pollutants found in some of Washington County’s drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a new “health advisory” for the chemicals — PFOS and PFOA, both formerly manufactured by the 3M Corp. The agency slashed the acceptable levels of the chemicals by 75 percent to 70 parts per trillion in drinking water. In Minnesota the impact of the ruling will be slight because most drinking water already meets the new standards, according to the state Department of Health. Water in municipal systems — including Oakdale, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Hastings — has been treated for years to remove the chemicals, according department spokesman Dough Schultz.”

Prior to Bob’s birthday tomorrow, Jon Bream of the Strib has a guide for following Dylan around the state. A sample:

5. Gray’s Drugstore, 327 14th Av. SE., where Dylan lived in a Dinkytown apartment upstairs by the back alley. Now the site of Loring Pasta Bar.

6. 10 O’Clock Scholar, corner of 5th St. and 14th Av. SE., where Dylan performed during his days as a fledgling Minneapolis folkie. Now a parking lot.

15. Duluth Armory, 13th Av. E. and London Road, where he saw Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and Dion on Jan. 31, 1959.

Also in music, Brittany Spanos at Rolling Stone has this: “Madonna paid tribute to Prince during the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night, covering ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ before bringing Stevie Wonder onstage for a moving rendition of ‘Purple Rain.’ Questlove introduced the tribute, comparing Prince’s death to an “earthquake” and allowing a moment of silence to memorialize the singer. Following the silence, Prince’s voice rang through the venue with his iconic ‘Dearly beloved…’ intro to ‘Let’s Go Crazy.’ Madonna, who collaborated with the singer for ’Love Song‘ off Like a Prayer, appeared onstage on a throne. The singer, wearing a glittery purple suit, offered a solemn take on ‘Nothing Compares 2 U.’ Towards the end of her cover, Wonder walked onstage to belt “Purple Rain” before the audience turned the tribute into a massive sing-a-long.”

And she crashed it good. Says Mike Hughlett in the Strib, “An apparently intoxicated young woman stole a University of North Dakota squad car on Sunday, police say, driving it from Grand Forks to Crookston where she was involved in a crash so violent the vehicle’s engine broke free. Yet the driver, 23, suffered only minor injuries, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. She was not a UND student, UND police said.”

The PiPress’ Kristi Blcamamino reports: “Police are investigating the death of a North St. Paul high school student who was found dead at home Saturday night, hours after her prom at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. There are indications that the North High senior had been drinking, police say. Authorities are investigating where the alcohol was obtained and whether any other substances were involved that led to the teen’s death, said Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell. According to police, Anna Jaskulka’s parents drove her to their Maplewood home from the prom. When they checked on her later, she was unresponsive, and they called 911. When police arrived at 11:08 p.m., only a few minutes after the 911 call, Jaskulka was in full cardiac arrest, Schnell said.”

Finally, they might want to check underneath the foundation for an Indian burial grounds or something. Says Rick Nelson in the Strib, “After less than a year, Il Foro, the Italian remake of the landmark Forum Cafeteria space in downtown Minneapolis, served its last meal on Saturday night. Staff were being informed of the closing today. The restaurant, the work of Smack Shack entrepreneurs Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald, and chef Jack Riebel, opened last June. … Il Foro joins a long line of tenants (including, most famously, the former Goodfellow’s) to occupy the space since the original tenant closed in the mid 1970s.” So put a Shake Shack in there and see what happens.   

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Ray Lewis on 05/23/2016 - 08:09 am.

    End of session thoughts

    The end of the 2015-2016 Biennium shows why people don’t think government works very well for them, their community, their districts, or the state as whole. Gridlock and back room deals by a few powerful leaders, which are expected to be rubber stamped without time for reading them, is now a standard and expected operating procedure, but results in SNAFUs. Last minute suprises while sleep deprived doesn’t live up to the American ideals and expectations I was taught in government, civics and jurisprudence classes or my working experience at the capital.

    Try explaining what happened to pre-school students, elementary, middle, high school, college, graduate school, or foreign visitors without cynicism. I hope others on this forum can help explain the positive role of current political parties as the intermediaries between their constituents, voters, and campaign funders, because I’m not sure about acceptability of compromises across divided government.

    I suppose another branch of elected government can take the time to read and digest the transportation and bonding bills that didn’t pass in the legislature and decide if getting an agreement before a special session between the two parties would be better for the fate of the state. Otherwise, I expect more negative and blaming themes of a “did-mostly-nothing” campaign on our highest priorities before next November.

    Maybe this is a chance to move beyond blaming the other side, and begin to look look at the role of citizens within a civil society and most importantly how we can hold our elected representatives accountable beyond Election Day. I’d like to hear specific options and a chance to endorse a system, the people elected to change the system, the people currently in charge of the legislative system

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/23/2016 - 09:34 am.

      Beyond Both Sides

      Maybe we should move beyond blaming both sides and declaring a pox on both of their houses. The tactics and goals of one side have not changed appreciably in the last few decades. The other side, well there has been quite a bit of change in goals and attitudes. That side campaigns on the idea that government cannot work. Once elected, they set out to prove it. Then they thrive on the cynicism they hepled to create.

      • Submitted by Tim Walker on 05/23/2016 - 12:05 pm.

        Excellent summation, Frank

        “That side campaigns on the idea that government cannot work. Once elected, they set out to prove it. Then they thrive on the cynicism they helped to create.”

        Clear, precise, and spot on.

  2. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 05/23/2016 - 10:43 am.

    WHat

    “Whether individual voters picked a Republican ballot or a Democratic one would become public, under the new law.”

    So the state is going to publish whether I vote Democratic or Republican? Seriously? I suppose next our Republican friends will pass a law making it legal for employers to discriminate based on party identification.

  3. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 05/23/2016 - 12:07 pm.

    Hey not all was lost

    We got Blaze Pink hunting apparel approved.

  4. Submitted by Jan Arnold on 05/23/2016 - 12:58 pm.

    Election Year

    and all are up for election. I noticed that only non-controversial items were passed. Need to campaign on something and don’t want a negative to answer to. This way they can blame the other guy for not getting things done.

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