Before leaving the Capitol for the year, Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL- Cook, bemoaned what he called the "biggest do-nothing legislative session in our state's history."
"We're going to use 250 calendar days," Bakk said. "That, members, is the second longest calendar days since statehood. We're going to pass, assuming this bill gets signed and the Revisor's bill gets signed, about 245 bills. Members, that's the fewest number of bills that has been signed into law since 1869."
Bakk's claim is basically correct.
The Legislative Reference Library keeps track of each two-year session's basics - how long they lasted, how many bills were introduced, and how many bills became law, among other statistics.
Excluding last year's special session to approve budget bills, the current session actually lasted 248 calendar days, so Bakk is two days off.
Nevertheless, this part of Bakk's claim is still on point: this session was the second longest in terms of calendar days since statehood. Legislators used 251 calendar days to get through the 2001-2002 legislative session, according to the library's data.
If you include special session days, which Bakk didn't take into account for his comparison, this session was the fourth longest - still one of the most protracted in state history.
Bakk is also correct that 245 bills became law this session. That's the fewest since 1869, when the same number of new laws were put on the books.
Whether lawmakers got anything accomplished this session is a matter of opinion. But Bakk's numbers are correct.
The PoliGraph rates this claim accurate.
Facts About the 87th Legislature, complied by Senate DFL research
Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, Sessions of the Minnesota State Legislature and the Minnesota Territorial Legislature, 1849-present, accessed May 16, 2012
Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, Number of Bills Introduced and Laws Passed in the Minnesota Legislature, 1849-present, May 16, 2012
Minnesota Session Laws - 2012, Regular Session, accessed May 16, 2012
WASHINGTON - While airport terminals may be full of government security screeners asking passengers to remove their shoes and empty their bags, security out on the tarmac where aircraft are parked is "a joke" said U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday.
In making the assertion, Cravaack, a Republican and former Northwest Airlines pilot, cited worried calls from sources inside the airline industry who contacted him. Turning to Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator John Sammon, Cravaack asked, "Would it surprise you, sir, if I told you that several people -- both pilots and ground personnel -- have told me the security around the aircraft, coming from outside sources, is a joke?"
A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General reinforced Cravaack's claims, arguing that many airport security perimeters are insufficient and that the security clearance process for airport workers is ineffective. Wednesday's House Homeland Security Committee hearing also comes after the arrest of a security supervisor at Newark Airport who was an illegal immigrant who had worked under a false identity for 20 years.
Here's the video.(1 Comments)
The Speaker of the Minnesota House is backing state Rep. Kurt Bills, R-Rosemount, for U.S Senate. Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers called Bills a "man of integrity" and said he has the right plan to improve the nation's economy.
"This election is about the economy. We need to send someone to Washington that can not only ask the tough questions but answer them," Zellers said in a statement.
Zellers and Bills have served in the Minnesota House together over the last two years.
Zellers' endorsement comes two days before Republican delegates meet in St. Cloud to endorse a Republican candidate to challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Army veteran Pete Hegseth and former state Rep. Dan Severson are also vying for the GOP endorsement. All three candidates have said that they will drop out of the race if they don't win party backing.
Here's the endorsement letter from Zellers:
The Deputy Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate didn't win her party's endorsement for re-election on Tuesday night.
Republican delegates in Senate District 47 chose not to endorse a candidate after neither incumbent Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, nor auto mechanic Bruce Schwichtenberg could win 60 percent delegate support after five ballots.
No endorsement means primary voters will decide which candidate should represent the party in the November election.
Schwichtenberg says he believes his work as vice chair of the Carver County Republican Party will help him win the August primary. He said he's concerned that Ortman authored plans to tax internet purchases and make other changes that he considers tax increases.
"There's a lot of tax bills that she's authored that, quite frankly, a lot of Democrats would be proud of," Schwichtenberg said.
Ortman, who chairs the Senate Taxes Committee, did not respond to an interview request but said in a text message that she has no plans yet except to take a couple of days off.(1 Comments)