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Politics

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Why the Trump administration wants school districts to change their budgets - and how Title I could stand in the way

President Trump’s first budget proposal promised $1 billion in new funds for poor students, with a catch: the money would be used to encourage school districts to adopt a new way of funding their schools. Tucked into the administration’s “skinny budget,” the single sentence on the issue manages to say a great deal about the Trump administration’s priorities — and about how complicated it could be to move them forward. http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/us/2017/03/21/why-the-trump-administration-wants-school-districts...

 

Beltrami County revising shoreland policy

BEMIDJI—Outdated language and confusing wording are being replaced with clearer provisions in a new draft of Beltrami County's shoreland ordinance. In Minnesota, shoreland along lakes and rivers is managed by township, city and county governments through ordinances that regulate standards created by the Department of Natural Resources. According to the DNR, the land that falls under the ordinance is determined by its proximity to the lake's ordinary high water level. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4239078-county-beltra...

 

Services for thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities are at stake as Congress votes on GOP health bill

Thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities could lose medical and personal-care services that allow them to stay in their homes and live independently if Congress passes the GOP health bill that heads to a crucial vote in the U.S. House on Thursday. The bill is the House Republicans' vehicle to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but its biggest impact would fall on the federal-state Medicaid program, which provides health coverage for the poor, elderly and disabled. http://www.startribune.com/servi...

 

Franken, Klobuchar question Gorsuch on big business

WASHINGTON – Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he’d be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations. http://www.startribune.com/franken-klobuchar-question-gorsuch-on-big-business/416880964/...

 

Bill to ban masks at protests that become riots divides police, civil rights advocates

HELENA – The Montana Legislature may make it illegal for people to cover their faces if a protest turns to a riot or if they commit other crimes of public disorder. Civil rights advocates worry that the bill will ensnare lawful citizens. Montana is one of at least 19 states to consider legislation this year that would prohibit or criminalize certain aspects of mass protests seen around the country in recent years. http://missoulian.com/news/government-and-politics/bill-to-ban-masks-at-protests-that-become-riots-divides/ar...

 

Brian Cladoosby Elected to 21st Term as Swinomish Chairman

The Swinomish Senate reelected Brian Cladoosby to another one-year term – his 21st – as chairman on February 26. Cladoosby has served in the Senate for 32 years, 20 of those years as chairman. The chairmanship is a full-time and salaried position. https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/native-news/brian-cladoosby-elected-21st-term-swinomish-chairman/...

 

Private prison wins a round, but faces Gov. Dayton's opposition

ST. PAUL—Reworked legislation to place state inmates in a west-central Minnesota prison is advancing in the Legislature, but Gov. Mark Dayton remains strongly opposed to it. A House committee heard arguments on both sides of the issue Tuesday, March 21, and it is expected to be included in a public safety finance bill to be unveiled in coming days. If it passes the House, as likely, the prison provision will be subject to negotiations as a budget is written during the next two months. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/423...

 

Beltrami Commissioners get legislative report

BEMIDJI -- Local legislators connected with Beltrami County Commissioners Tuesday via conference call to discuss issues in St. Paul that will impact their shared constituents. District 5 and 2 Sens. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids and Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids along with District 5A Rep. Matt Bliss, R-Pennington, gave input to the commissioners regarding items including the veterans home topic and transportation legislation. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4238392-county-beltrami-commissioners-get-legislative-report...

 

Minnesota House Republicans detail $6 billion transportation plan

ST. PAUL—The debate over transportation funding — and the hard divide on solutions — is back at the Minnesota Capitol. On Tuesday, the Minnesota House released its plan to fund the state's roads and bridges. Like the plan the Senate released earlier this week, the proposal redirects current spending to roads. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, as he has before, is proposing increasing the gas tax to pay for transportation needs. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4238576-minnesota-house-republicans-detail-6-billion-transportation-p...

 

No promises and no one above law, Supreme Court pick says

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch declared Tuesday he's made no promises to Donald Trump or anyone else about how he'll vote on abortion or other issues and testified he'll have no trouble as a justice holding anyone accountable, including the president who picked him. Gorsuch also called Trump's attacks on federal judges "disheartening" and "demoralizing." http://www.startribune.com/high-court-nominee-to-face-daylong-questioning-in-senate/416686173/...

 

Senate votes to lift limits on hunting Alaska grizzlies and wolves on federal land

The Senate voted Tuesday to abolish a rule restricting specific hunting practices on national wildlife refuges in Alaska — including trapping, baiting and aerial shooting — on the grounds that state officials should be able to set the terms for wildlife conservation on public land within their own borders. The 52-to-47 vote, which was almost entirely along party lines, represented the latest instance of Republicans using a powerful legislative tool — the Congressional Review Act — to eliminate regulations that Barack Obama’s...

 

3G's stores urged to review policies after discrimination against a Native American man

Billings' 3G's Convenience Stores must pay a 59-year-old Native American man $7,000 after employees there refused to accept his tribal identification card as proof of his age.  Carl High Pine filed a complaint against 3G's after trying to buy a single serving bottle of sparkling wine and was told the store did not accept tribal IDs.  http://billingsgazette.com/news/crime/g-s-stores-urged-to-review-policies-after-discrimination-against/article_16b40a25-aeea-5ab5-802c-8bf8aef02c8b.html...

 

House rejects pilot program for tribal juveniles

Tuesday by members of the North Dakota House. Senate Bill 2046, which lawmakers said could be revisited in the next legislative session, failed by a 16-76 vote after a short debate. In contrast, the Senate passed it 45-0 in January. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/house-rejects-pilot-program-for-tribal-juveniles/article_50b8bb73-8ad8-5164-9521-193bdf811935.html...

 

Trump Budget Takes an Axe to Native Housing Allocations

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development on January 19 issued a major study of American Indian housing allocations that determined the federal government has not funded Indian housing adequately for the past two decades. But HUD officials may be experiencing a bad case of whiplash less than two months later with the release of the Trump Administration’s fiscal 2018 budget, which guts Native housing. While the proposed 2018 budget released March 16 is the so-called “skinny” budget, with most details to follow in May, the...

 

REP. GROSSELL STATEMENT ON HOUSE REPUBLICANS BUDGETING THE MINNESOTA WAY

$1.35 billion in tax relief, new road & bridge funding highlight responsible budget approach Saint Paul- House Republicans announced their budget targets Monday, headlined by $1.35 billion in tax relief for Minnesota families, $450 million in new funding for road and bridge infrastructure, and an overall budget target that ensures a sustainable level of state spending for the next biennium. “Our budget respects hard-working Minnesota families by funding our shared priorities and delivering tax relief," said Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook....

 

House leaders make changes to health care bill in bid to gain votes

WASHINGTON – House Republican leaders, racing toward a planned Thursday vote on their proposed health-care overhaul, unveiled changes to the legislation late Monday that they think will win over enough members to secure its passage. The tweaks addressed numerous GOP concerns about the legislation, ranging from the flexibility it would give states to administer their Medicaid programs to the amount of aid it would offer older Americans to buy insurance. They are the product of two weeks of negotiations that stretched from the Capitol to the...

 

Tulalip Tribes members elect first woman-majority board

TULALIP — For the second time in its history, the Tulalip Tribes will have a woman leading its board. On Saturday, the Tulalip Tribes membership voted in two new board members and elected Marie Zackuse chairwoman. http://www.heraldnet.com/news/tulalip-tribes-members-elect-first-woman-majority-board/...

 

BELTRAMI COUNTY DFL ELECTS NEW OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

The Beltrami County DFL held its annual convention on March 13, 2017 at the Bemidji Eagles Club. At the convention, local delegates elected the following officers to serve a two-year term: Janelle Wolf, Chair; Steven Nelson, Vice Chair; Mike Stillday, Outreach Officer; Mike Albrecht, Treasurer; and Andrea Kingbird – Secretary. In addition, local delegates elected the following individuals to serve as Directors for a two-year term ending in 2019: Billy Ayers, Lisa Boulay, Alan Brew, Allison Forte, Marsha Driscoll and Kristin Neises. The...

 

Lobbyists spent $67 million in Minnesota last year, Dayton says it 'skews legislation'

ST. PAUL—Lobbying interests spent nearly $67 million last year trying to sway Minnesota officials, according to reports released Thursday.. Lobbyists have been on the rise over the past decade, according to state reports. State and local hearings are rife with those seeking to make their clients' voices heard. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4236136-lobbyists-spent-67-million-minnesota-last-year-dayton-says-it-skews-legislation...

 

Senate Republicans want $900 million cut from Minn. Taxes

ST. PAUL—More than half of the state's $1.65 billion surplus should go to a package of tax cuts, Minnesota Senate Republicans proposed Thursday. Their $900 million proposal would include breaks targeted at seniors, farmers, businesses and college students. Its biggest portion would be a permanent cut to the state's lowest tax bracket, which currently takes 5.35 percent of the first $25,390 in taxable income a single individual earns. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4236061-senate-republicans-want-900-million-cut-minn-ta...

 

Minnesota House advances changes to teacher layoff rules

ST. PAUL — Plans from Minnesota House Republicans to give local school leaders more control over which teachers are laid off faces difficult odds of becoming law. The Minnesota House voted 71-59 Thursday to require school leaders and teachers unions to develop local plans and criteria to consider if they need to cut staff. The bill also eliminates the fallback system now in state law that uses seniority also called 'Last In, First Out,' or LIFO. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4236014-minnesota-house-advances-changes-te...

 

Trump wants 21 percent USDA budget cut; food, rural water hit

CHICAGO - President Donald Trump has proposed halting funding for rural clean water initiatives and reducing county-level staff, for a 21 percent drop in discretionary spending at the Department of Agriculture, according to a White House budget document. The $4.7 billion in cuts would leave USDA with a budget of $17.9 billion after cutting some statistical and rural business services and encouraging private sector conservation planning. Farm groups warned that farmers and rural communities could suffer. http://www.bemidjipio...

 

Buffer strips ahead of deadline; Mark Dayton opposes big changes to law

ST. PAUL -- Landowners are making good progress toward complying with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature water-quality law, leaving the governor firmly opposed to any legislative attempts to delay or revoke the new standards. “To delay or weaken it is not acceptable and not negotiable,” Dayton said Thursday, March 16, at a news conference celebrating landowners’ growing compliance with a law requiring vegetative buffers be installed between public waters and private lands by November. “I want to thank the many, many farmers who...

 

Trump seeks to slash Education Department but make big push for school choice

The Trump administration is seeking to cut $9.2 billion — or 13.5 percent — from the Education Department’s budget, a dramatic downsizing that would reduce or eliminate grants for teacher training, after-school programs and aid to ¬low-income and first-generation college students. Along with the cuts, among the steepest the agency has ever sustained, the administration is also proposing to shift $1.4 billion toward one of President Trump’s key priorities: Expanding charter schools, private-school vouchers and other alternatives...

 

STATEMENT BY REP. GROSSELL ON HOUSE PASSING BILL TO EMPOWER SCHOOLS TO KEEP BEST TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Representative Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, that repeals the last in, first out (LIFO) requirement when school districts are forced to reduce staff. By removing this default in state statute, school districts and local bargaining units are open to explore alternative options in addition to seniority, helping keep the best teachers in the classroom. The legislation passed on a vote of 71-59. “Every child deserves a great education and...

 

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