Friday, February 27, 2009

Balancing the state budget, Regent candidates reviewed

Yesterday at the Capitol

State lawmakers ask for balanced budget moving forward
Minnesota residents should not be strapped with debt from decisions lawmakers make today. Legislation passed by the House and Senate yesterday, HF 886, directs the state Legislature and governor to balance the budget for 2010-2011 and the next biennium.

"This will ensure that the budget solutions put forward are honest and that they don’t just pass on a deficit to future legislatures," said Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis. "The state needs to get its fiscal house in order, not for the next two years, but also into the future."

The House passed this bill 89-40 and the Senate passed it 57-8. It now heads to the governor.

Joint Higher Education committee reviews Regent candidates
The nine candidates for four open seats on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents had their first screening yesterday in front of the joint House and Senate Higher Education committee.

Eight candidates recommended by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council, and another nominated by Rep. Larry Haws, DFL-St. Cloud, spoke with members about why they should serve on the university’s governing body. "I feel personally very torn over several of these seats," said Sen. Sandy Pappas DFL-St. Paul, co-chair of the joint House and Senate committee on regent selection.

The committee will need to make recommendations to the full House and Senate on who should fill the seats. After members of the joint committee make their selections, lawmakers from both the House and Senate must formally elect the regents in a joint session.

The nine candidates are:

• First congressional district - Patricia Simmons of Rochester and Randy Simonson of Worthington

• Fourth congressional district - Richard Beeson of St. Paul and Anita Pampusch of Lilydale

• Sixth congressional district - Kjell Berg of Stillwater, John Frobenius of St. Cloud and Kathryn Roberts of Stillwater

• Seventh congressional district - Clyde Allen Jr. of Moorhead and Anne Rasmusson of Crookston

At the Capitol:
Legislative schedules are available for the House and Senate.

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