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< Weekly Recap | Main | Floor-a-palooza liveblog >

Floor-a-palooza for lawmaker pay council

Posted at 12:06 PM on May 12, 2008 by Michael Marchio

This afternoon, the House should be taking up HF3796, the constitutional amendment that would create a council to set lawmaker pay, and the Commish is interested in hearing what your lawmakers have to say about it. So let's do a floor-a-palooza. The session should come back from recess any minute now, and you can watch it here.

It's been a pretty quiet morning so far, but the Senate Business, Industry and Jobs Committee chaired by Sen. Jim Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul) did hear the California emissions bill, SF481/HF863 sponsored by Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville) and Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park). Sen. Metzen said that he'd hear it when it reached the floor in the House, which it has, and so he did. But apparently the proponents that Sen. Marty had asked to come in and testify couldn't make it on such short notice, so only the opponents were there.

One representative from the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers, Laura Dooley, said that if Minnesota adopts the California rules, it will have to accede to any changes California decides to make in the future. 12 states, including California, have adopted the tougher emissions standards.

There was concern about what it would do to the state's ethanol industry too, with Dooley and a representative of the Minnesota Farm Bureau saying it could harm it. They said the California emissions standards would require documented proof that a vehicle was filling up with E85, and that the California standards don't account for the kind of vehicles Minnesotans use.

For some reason, that argument seems like it would be less effective today that it might have been a couple years ago, with criticism of the ethanol industry rising, and even some intra-DFL skirmishes have broken out during this session over the issue.

Sen. Metzen said they'd wait to hear from the other side before taking a vote.

We have yet to see a breakthrough on the budget, but the governor sent a letter to lawmakers last night saying that without a property tax cap, there won't be a budget deal, and if there's no budget deal, he won't allow the Central Corridor to proceed. Take a look at his letter below, and check back to see how your lawmakers are doing on this afternoon's floor-a-palooza.

05 11 08 Response letter to DFL leaders.pdf