The following information was sent via e-mail on February 21, 2012, from Elaine Keefe, MLA/MEMO Lobbyist. Additional linked information included.
This afternoon the special panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court released the new legislative district boundaries. 30 members of the House and 16 members of the Senate are paired with another incumbent in their new districts.
Today the House Education Finance Committee heard two bills of interest to MLA and MEMO. The first was HF 2127, the online learning bill heard previously in the House Education Reform Committee. Today the author, Rep. Pam Myhra (R - Burnsville) offered an amendment to remove the provisions of the bill directing the Online Learning Advisory Council to develop a catalog of digital learning content aligned with the academic content standards. This was removed because of the cost associated with it. The bill still requires all students to receive at least one digital course credit in order to graduate. The requirement is effective for students entering 9th grade this fall.
The other bill would remove school trust lands from the management of the Dept. of Natural Resources and instead place them under the management of staff to be hired by a new Legislative-Citizen Permanent School Fund Commission. Many legislators and school advocates believe that the DNR's management of these lands has failed to yield a reasonable amount of income for schools. The bill passed on a divided vote and was sent to the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee.