Tuesday, March 10, 2009

State government bills heard, Regents selected

Yesterday at the Capitol

State government bills heard in Senate
The Senate State Government Budget Division listened to three bills at their meeting yesterday morning all authored by Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope. SF 91 requires Minnesota Management and Budget to maintain a Web site with a searchable database of state expenditures, which will be available to the public. The bill was laid on the table to be considered for possible inclusion in the division's omnibus bill.

The next bill, SF 57, adds duties to the Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, Rest said. The bill requires that the commissioner establish a process to monitor and encourage implementation of recommendations made to state agencies by the legislative auditor, Rest said. She said the bill also requires the commissioner to develop training materials and policies on internal controls and ensure that executive branch employees with financial responsibilities participate in a regular course of training on internal controls and financial management. The bill was amended and laid on the table, also for possible consideration in the omnibus bill.

And finally, SF 107 clarifies and strengthens laws prohibiting misuse of state funds and prescribes criminal penalties for misuse of state funds. Criminal offenses under the bill are classified as a gross misdemeanor and penalties include imprisonment for no more than one year or a fine of no more than $3,000, Rest said. This bill was also laid on the table for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill.

University of Minnesota Regents elected in joint session
In a special joint session yesterday, House and Senate members elected four individuals to fill open seats on the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota. The elected Regents include;
• 1st Congressional District - Patricia Simmons of Rochester (currently chairwoman of the board)
• 4th Congressional District - Richard Beeson of St. Paul
• 6th Congressional District - current regent John Frobineus of St. Cloud
• 7th Congressional District, current board vice chair Clyde Allen Jr. of Moorhead

All four Regents were recommended last week by the joint House and Senate committee on regent selection. Members of the board, which serves as the university’s governing body, serve staggered six-year terms.

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

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