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< T-Paw's Veto Pen | Main | Tweaks >

Some Big Ones

Posted at 2:15 PM on February 15, 2008 by Michael Marchio (5 Comments)

The Legislature said they would start-out running this session, and they look to be making good on that promise. Some of the biggest issues left over from last year were given attention already in this first week, including the transportation bill, which advanced in both the House and the Senate. The bill, though, includes an increase in the gas tax, higher license tab fees, and a metro-wide half-cent sales tax to pay for transit projects, and Gov. Pawlenty has already vowed to veto it. The bill is similar to the one he vetoed last session and the House couldn't muster the votes to override, but the collapse of the I-35W bridge makes me wonder whether we might see an override this time, and that means big points, so we'll have to stay tuned for that.

Speaking of the bridge, a bill to compensate victims sponsored by Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), hopped through one committee in the House and is headed for another one, probably next week, earning him enough points to nearly break into the top ten on the power rankings.

The constitutional amendment bill dedicating funding to the outdoors and arts, also laid over from last session, went to a floor vote yesterday. The Midday Program had a great discussion about the bill you can listen to here.

Even though it passed both chambers easily, the debate was pretty contentious in the House. One lawmaker, Rep. Torrey Westrom, picked a bone with the conduct of the Department of Natural Resources.

"Unfortunately, I've told them over and over, you know, just because you're enforcing the law doesn't mean you have to be a Gestapo-type of agency, they don't always seem to get that. They might at the top, they might somewhere in middle-management, but sometimes it just doesn't trickle down to the field officers, who sometimes wear their badge or do their job no matter what the local citizens care."

When Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-18B), asked Westrom to clarify if he had actually compared the DNR to Hitler's secret police, and Rep. Westrom responded that they "Act like the Gestapo, uh, according to my constituents at times."

I'm going to have to consider giving Floor-A-Palooza bonus points for whenever any team is able to invoke Godwin's Law during a floor session. That exchange happened around the 50 minute mark. Being that this is going to be in front of us voters in November, the whole debate is worth taking a look at, and you can find it on the House web site. Scroll down until you see where it says "Floor session."

The BSU Poliscientists in the Grey League, followed by the Good Bye Mady's in the Red League and id10t in the Green League are really showing some early strength, but as soon as some of these bills start getting heard in committee, we're going to see a lot of points being handed out. Its a good idea to take a look at the power rankings before deciding who, if anyone you want to put on waivers. The computer will make the changes on Sunday night, so you'll have until then to work on your teams. Good luck managers, and if there are any questions send them my way.

Comments (5)

Is there a way to set up a message board feature for each league? I believe that BSU Poliscientists, id10t, and oh heck, even Good Bye Mady's might want to have some sort of medium to brag at their early success - and also it would give the fellow league managers something to reference down the road as we leave them in the dust.

Posted by M@ | February 15, 2008 6:08 PM

I agree with M@, though I doubt Janet Reno's Dance Team will be leaving anyone in the dust.

Posted by M@x | February 16, 2008 12:09 PM

Yeah Baby! As Austin Powers would say, I'm not too humble to use the Commissioner's Blog to extol the prowess of my legislators on Team MilVets. I'm quite happy to have broken 100 points and be at the top of Maroon League after Week One, and to have the Ace Legislator from the Power Rankings, Rep. Larry Haws of St. Cloud, on my team.

I'm pleased with an overall 7th place, and to have two of the top ten scoring legislators on my team. Larry Haws and Rep. Patti Fritz of Faribault were drafted by Team MilVets for their support of veterans' legislation, so that strategy is working well for me in Week One.

Three of the Top Ten from 2007 also finished in the Top Ten of the Power Rankings from Week One of 2008: Senator Ann Rest, Rep. Frank Moe, and Rep. David Bly.

Is there any team to break into the top ten without any one or more of these legislators on their team? I don't think so . . .

My Rookie of the Year from 2007, Sen. Sharon Ropes Erickson, was MIA this week, so that was a disappointment. I'm trying to be patient and hope she will make up in Week Two with a boatload of bills to dump in the hopper.

Do good things come to those who wait?

Posted by Nancy Gertner | February 16, 2008 1:21 PM

I see the transactions went through... can we see all the leagues transactions on one page?

Posted by gml4 | February 18, 2008 12:05 AM

> Do good things come to those who wait?

I sure hope so. At least that's the way it was last season. The Bill Carriers seem to be languishing in the Brown League at the moment in 8th place with only 50 points. But with 40 bills introduced we're second only to the top team so far. My plan is to let my folks pace themselves for a long season. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Go Carriers!

Posted by Doug Gray | February 19, 2008 12:06 PM