Lawmakers get some love from the Guv
Posted at 1:48 PM on April 25, 2008 by Michael Marchio
Gov. Pawlenty signed 19 bills yesterday, 18 of which were from this session. Remember, bills introduced last session can't count for points. Right there, you're lawmakers earned 1,800 points. Kind of makes those piddly little introductions we had so many of at the beginning of the session look pretty insignificant, no? It pays to pass bills. Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul) had the best week, getting three signed, with Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) and Rep. Debra Hilstrom both getting two signed.
After approving the omnibus agriculture and veterans bill, and the omnibus transportation policy bill, the House came back and met - until well past midnight. Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) was actually able to get up during announcements and wish lawmakers a happy Arbor Day, the last Friday of every April, and tell them how to plant trees. What took them so long? A bill sponsored by Rep. Brita Sailer (DFL-Park Rapids) SF3775. It would start a pilot program to reduce environmental impacts of paint disposal, by adding a fee up to .50 cents per gallon of paint and a "paint stewardship fee" on manufacturers of paint, depending on how much they produce. Rep. Jim Abeler successfully amended that amount to .30 cents, but that didn't stop all manner of amendments from being proposed, and a good two and a half hours of debate on that bill alone. We'll see if this one gets by the governors desk, because, while he hates taxes, he's been known to tolerate a "fee" or two.
As promised here's our weekly recap:
Gold League -
Minnetonka Redress continues to lead with 3,413 up from 2,581, with bemidji beavers not far behind, at 3,033 from 2,305. Caucus-o-Raucous took over the third spot with the help of the governor, signing five bills worth 250 points for them. Highland Politics moved down to 4th, with Know Spin Zone at 5th and the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy moving up a spot to 6th.
Maroon League -
Here we didn't have much movement, with The But For Test and All Else Equals still leading the way, but The Lawsages topped Blue BMW and the Ex-Pats to take 3rd place.
Green League -
At 3,408, id10t is tops here, and both Elizabeth Tobias' Healthy Gophers held their position in 2nd. The biggest story here might be Mary Jane Sieben's Healthy Gophers, who had 5 lawmakers get up and make floor speeches this week. As far as carrying bills, House Republicans haven't been the biggest point earners, but they certainly do clean up during floor-a-paloozas. Sieben's Healthy Gophers have figured that out, and all her Republicans (4) gave floor speeches. Nice job.
Red League -
Janet Reno's Dance Team continues to run away with their league here, at 3,624 from 3,204 from last week. The 2nd place team, Good Bye Mady's, had a pretty light week, only adding 100 or so points to get to 2,979. Brod Appeal used the week to gain on them, adding about 300 points and at 2,735, almost tied for 2nd.
Blue League -
Teams are holding steady here, with Blue Thunder 1st and The Party Party 2nd. The Wobblers took 3rd from House Call, but this league is remarkable for how consistent each team has been earning its points. Someone here should rock the boat and try picking up some lawmakers on waivers. It doesn't look like anyone has claimed Sen. Linda Higgins. What gives?
Purple League -
Legislicious had a great week, getting 7 bills signed for 350 points. They're #1 here, but the Hopemongers and Obamazons are locked in a struggle for Change. They've been trading the 2nd and 3rd spots here, with Obamazons cleaning up on floor-a-palooza speeches and Hopemongers doing it the old fashioned way, relying on bill signage. Less than 100 points separate them. Will next week turn the tables again?
Orange League -
Outstaters, Curlybro's Congress, the Rudy G's and The HIGH morals all hold their positions, one to four. We Play 360 did well though, picking up almost 400 points and topping the closet policy wonks.
Yellow League -
A lot of good work through committees and on the floor won the Attack of the DFL 350 points, from 3,062 to 3,408. Caucusing Fool and the Volatile Organic Compounds held spots one and two, while Game Time beat the Civic Civilians for the 4th spot.
Brown League -
Ultraliberal Elite are proving they're just that, with 3,949 and the second best score in the whole MFL. The Indefatigable Bill Carriers had a better week though, earning 500 points and gaining on the Ultraliberal Elite. Everyone else in this league held their positions. That should mean time to look for some fresh free-agent talent. How about it teams?
Black League -
Capitol Punishers continue to lead the whole MFL, at 4,289 points. They earned about 400 points in the last week, not bad by any means, but the Farmers 4 No Lobby did them one better, earning about 600. Capitol punishers have a pretty sizable lead here, but a few more weeks like this will even things up.
Grey League - BSU Poliscientists, Strange Bedfellows and PoliSci 2nd Semester are our top three here, and you have to get down to the 6th spot before you find any movement, with the Knights and poliwho topping the Conservatives. Commanding lead for the Poliscientists, but not insurmountable.
White League -
This league is smaller than all our rest, and Sen. Linda Higgins, Rep. Debra Hilstrom and Sen. Rick Olseen are all unclaimed right now. Everyone has held their positions, but a team with some initiative could take the White League with all those points waiting to get collected. Lets make it happen.
No one really knows when the session will end, but expert opinion seems to say it will go till the last day possible, May 19. MFL commissioner emeritus Bob Collins said you could bet the farm on it. If work expands to fill the time necessary for its completion, then that should mean more time for your teams to score points. With most of the omnibus bills out of the way, more floor time will be available for our lawmakers to get single bills through.
This just in: Gov. Pawlenty has vetoed the nonbinding Cuba trade resolution. That'll show Castro.
He also vetoed the transportation policy bill that lawmakers spent so much time on yesterday, because it banned the Real ID the federal government is calling for. There was talk during the DFL press conference this morning that some Republicans were trying to convince him to sign it, but from the looks of it they were unsuccessful.