The Citizens League is working on several fronts during this 2017 Legislative Session. Here’s a summary on what we’ve been working on. If you have any questions, or want to get involved, let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transit Study Committee
From September 2015 to March 2016, the Citizens League convened a 21-member study committee to study transit finance. Visit the Citizens League’s comprehensive project page for background, meeting minutes, the final report, and links to media mentions.
We are currently meeting with legislators to let them know about our recommendations. No bills have been introduced related to the Citizens League study.
Read more about our Transit Study Committee: https://citizensleague.org/transit
Metropolitan Council Task Force
From September 2016 to December 2016, the Citizens League convened a 19-member task force to study the Met Council in order to recommend governance changes. Visit the Citizens League’s comprehensive project page for background, meeting minutes, the final report, and links to media mentions.
This bill authored by Rep. Frank Hornstein in the House and Sen. Dibble in the Senate has all of the Met Council recommendations that came out of the task force work last year.
This bill expands the number of Met Council members from 17 to 27, members will be elected officials appointed by county boards or municipal committees, removes appointing authority from the Governor, and eliminates the Transportation Advisor Board (TAB).
This bill is identical to HF828/SF892 but with the additional language requiring legislature to approve any use of state funds for light rail projects including preliminary study.
Read more about our Met Council Task Force: https://citizensleague.org/MetCouncilProject
Education and Workforce
To meet projected workforce demands in light of Minnesota’s changing demographic trends, the Citizens League has been leading and supporting efforts that removes barriers and contributes to a skilled workforce. In prior years, the Citizens League helped pass the first-ever higher education attainment goal to provide the state with a unified higher education target. As a member of the attainment goal advisory committee led by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, we are excited about this report on baseline estimates.
This bill authored by Rep. Jenifer Loon and Sen. Nelson eliminates the gag rule regarding college and university explaining value of dual credit, requires schools to provide equal access to school equipment for PSEO, allows charter schools to participate in middle college high school programs, allows an appeal to the Commissioner of Education regarding grade weighting issues, and lastly, allows Minnesota high schools to establish concurrent enrollment course agreements with colleges and universities in neighboring states (thus giving MnSCU competition and expanding options for Minnesota high schools and students).
Truck Weight Legislation
The Citizens League has actively opposed weight increases for large trucks on the State and Federal level since its 2005 report, Driving Blind. In its work, the Citizens League discovered that large trucks do not pay into the financing of Minnesota roads proportional to their impact. This has been true for decades and remains true today. A main conclusion of the work was the need for greater transparency in transportation finance so that the public can be assured big trucks are paying their share to finance Minnesota roads.
This bill would increase the current weight limit from 80,000 to 90,000.
Calling Home (aging project)
Calling Home Animation from tpt MN on Vimeo.
The video shorts from the community conversations that took place last summer in Moose Lake, Suburban Ramsey, Heritage Park (North Minneapolis), Harmony, and the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (also in North Minneapolis) are now complete.
Currently, we are building a dedicated website where the video shorts will live. Alongside the videos, we are working with over a dozen aging-related partners to curate existing resources that are appropriate at this stage in “having the conversation.” For example, if individuals and families have just started having the conversation about home, what are the next steps? Is there a good checklist? Since we live in a world with too much information, our partners and the Citizens League are working hard to create an age-friendly website that will curate “just-what-I-need” resources.
The goal is to have the website up and running by April.
Read more about our Calling Home project: https://citizensleague.org/CallingHome
Minnesota Capitol Pathways Program
In its second year, the program placed 34 college students from eleven post-secondary institutions—both 2- and 4-year schools—on paid internships with 33 agencies and organizations that work at the Capitol. Over the course of the session, the interns will be exposed to various career paths, build relationships with established leaders, gain real-world experience in the field, and create a strong professional resume.
Read more about our Capitol Pathways internship program: https://citizensleague.org/MNCapitolPathways
Our members make it possible
For 65 years, the Citizens League has brought together people from diverse backgrounds, parties and ideologies to create and advance common ground solutions for the common good in Minnesota.
This work would not be possible without our members. Our work is supported financially in part by individual donations from hundreds of members – people like you who are interested in effective and sustainable solutions. If you’re not yet a member, will you consider making a tax-deductible contribution today to join the Citizens League?