Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up the 2013 session Monday at midnight.
There’s no grace period for new state senators. Whether it’s learning the mechanics of the legislative process and the issues themselves or gathering input from stakeholders and constituents, Sen. Susan Kent had to dive right in as a freshman lawmaker. Another thing she learned as the representative for Woodbury in the upper chamber: “No matter what I do, I get cranky emails.” The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up the 2013 session Monday at midnight. Kent (DFL-Woodbury) said she approached her public service with “reverence” and found her colleagues, many of whom were also first-term legislators, to be equally committed. “So impressed with the caliber of people,” she said. “They work hard. They care deeply. … These are smart, capable people…
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Kudos to both of Woodbury's state representatives for voting yes for marriage equality. Andrea Kieffer deserves much credit for having the courage to place principles over partisanship. Recognition should also be given to JoAnn Ward for doing the right thing. —Anthony Tedesco, Woodbury Like Patch on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our free newsletter
Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature Tuesday didn’t end the heated debate around same-sex marriage.
Whatever side of the debate you fall on, there’s no denying that this week’s passage of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage was a historical moment. Minnesota became just the 12th state to sanction gay marriage when Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Tuesday. Patch readers quickly wrote in to share their thoughts on the moment. Eagan Patch reader Kathi Malone echoed the view of legislators who voted yes in seeing same-sex marriage as a civil right: I am so happy that finally gay people will be able to have the civil right to marry. This is truly an American vote for freedom. I applaud Sen Clausen and all other legislators who voted for this historical bill. James N added: Thank you Senator Carlson and the entire MN legislature for extending …
Monday, May 13, 2013
Gov. Mark Dayton's office announced a signing ceremony set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14.
As the state Senate passed a bill Monday that will make Minnesota the 12th state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry, Woodbury Sen. Susan Kent said the legislation is about “fairness, equality, rights and justice.” The bill passed by 37-30 vote, and Gov. Mark Dayton announced a signing ceremony planned for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14. Last week, Woodbury Reps. Andrea Kieffer, a Republican, and JoAnn Ward, a DFLer, both voted in favor of the bill in the lower chamber. Below is Kent’s statement in full: “This bill is about fairness, equality, rights and justice. It is for loving, committed couples who need the protection that marriage provides so they can visit their partner in the hospital and their children have legal and emotional…
The Minnesota Senate was set to vote on the bill Monday.
We want to thank state Rep. Andrea Kieffer for supporting all families by voting "yes" on HF1054 this past Thursday. The vote was a truly historic moment for our state and her decision to support civil marriage equality will help ensure that Minnesota is a better place for all families to live and thrive. We recognize that this vote may not be politically popular for a Republican representative, so we are especially proud and grateful to be represented by someone who chose to stand up for freedom and fairness for all Minnesotans. —Denise and Tamara Peterson, Woodbury Like Patch on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our free newsletter
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
"I want to see our businesses grow, not our government."
As a long-time resident of Minnesota, I would like to voice my concern about the budget proposal that recently passed the House and Senate. The tax package includes new taxes that were intended to target high-income Minnesotans, but will actually impact small businesses. Small businesses drive our economy; they create local jobs for local people. Taxes that stunt small business growth will stunt the growth of our entire economy. Before our legislators implement taxes that will hurt our small businesses and threaten our economic growth, they should review the budget and eliminate wasteful spending. Too often it seems that new taxes are the answer to everything. I think our elected officials should work a little harder to draft a budget …
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The state dropped two spots in the League of American Bicyclists’ annual rankings.
(Editor's Note: The map above was created by the League of American Bicyclists.) Minnesota is still among the top states in “bike friendliness,” but its ranking fell a couple notches in 2013, according to the League of American Bicyclists. The state was ranked fourth this year, down from second in 2012. It ranked high in legislation and enforcement, policies and programs and education and encouragement. But it was middle of the pack in infrastructure and funding and lower tier in evaluation and planning. Minnesota was also missing three of the league’s “Top 10 Signs of Success: Use the map above to see how Minnesota compares to other states in the various categories. Do you think Minnesota needs to do more to support cycling? Share your …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Debate over the legislation will likely be taken up at the Capitol next year.
Woodbury Rep. Andrea Kieffer was among a handful of lawmakers who attended a Thursday press conference at the Capitol outlining a plan for medical marijuana in Minnesota. “Why would you allow people to suffer if it has the potential to help patients?” she said. Kieffer, a Republican, said the legislation wouldn’t likely be heard until next year. While Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will not support such a bill without the backing of the law enforcement community, Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, said the legislation “strikes the appropriate balance between compassion, health and safety,” according to an Associated Press report on the Grand Forks Herald’s website. Patients who are prescribed the drug would have to get a special identification …
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Even if you didn’t drink enough to score .08 or more, you can still be prosecuted for DWI because it is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle if the alcohol you consumed, regardless of the amount, is affecting your abilities.
“What a party,” you think as you drive yourself home... Suddenly the night sky is filled with flashing red and blue lights and you worry that you may be in trouble. Did you drink too much to be driving legally? DWI law confuses a lot of people. The name itself is confusing. DWI is sometimes called DUI. But in Minnesota the acronyms DWI (meaning “driving while intoxicated”) and DUI (meaning “driving while under the influence”) are used interchangeably. Each refers to the laws that prohibit someone from driving, operating, or being in physical control of a motor vehicle when they have had too much alcohol to drink. How do you know how much alcohol is too much? Generally speaking, the legal limit in Minnesota is .08. That number refers to the…
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Two explosions occurred the afternoon of Monday, April 15, 2013 near the marathon finish line on Boylston Street in Boston, MA.
During the Boston Marathon April 15, two explosions occurred near the finish line—killing three and injuring more than 100 people, according to a report from Fenway-Kenmore Patch. Among the 23,000 runners at the annual race were approximately 500 Minnesota residents, according to StarTribune.com. Here is what some of the runners shared about the incident and their experience. Click on the headline to read the full story. Roseville Runner: Boston Marathon Bombings "Surreal" Eric Kronback said he thought the two explosions were cannons. Blocks Away from Boston Marathon Explosions: Lake Elmo Woman Recounts 'A War Zone' “All of a sudden I heard two huge blasts—and everything went silent," Chris Hess-Withbroe said from her Boston hotel room …