Minnesota Government Update
November 17, 2008
US Senate Race Recount
The margin on the Norm Coleman / Al Franken U.S. Senate race is tight enough to trigger an automatic hand recount. Coleman leads by 206 votes in the unofficial count. The State Canvassing Board will review and certify the results on November 18 and the recount will begin in locations across the state Wednesday, November 19. Both campaigns are recruiting volunteers to oversee the legal volunteers and table counter volunteers throughout the recount process.
The campaigns are pursuing other options as well. Judges will continue to address matters as they come before courts and editorials and opinion pieces are being presented in the media. The State Canvassing Board reconvenes on December 16 to assemble a consolidated report from the local election officials. They hope to conclude their work by December 19, but will take as long as necessary to review all of the challenged ballots and declare the winner.
Pawlenty Announces "Green Jobz" Investment Initiative
Lastweek Governor Tim Pawlenty unveiled an initiative to provide growth potential for green jobs in Minnesota. The plan includes tax-free incentives through a "Green Jobz" program similar to the state's Jobz program. It also has a job growth investment tax credit, 50 percent of which will be targeted to green job projects promoting the state's renewable energy goals, a new small business investment tax credit, incentives to expand the production and infrastructure for biomethane and solar and other renewable energy products.
The Governor will also add a new clean and green energy category to the Minnesota Cup competition to reward innovation and spark invention. According to the Governor, approximately 15,000 Minnesotans work in green jobs currently and the industry has the potential to grow more than 100,000 such jobs over the next 30 years.
The Senate DFL caucus is 46 members strong with Senator Larry Pogemiller (DFL-Minneapolis) returning as the Majority Leader and Tarryl Clark (DFL-St. Cloud) resuming her post as Assistant Majority Leader. The Senate Republican Caucus comes back after two Senate special elections with 21 members, having lost one seat. Senator David Senjem (R-Rochester) has been reelected as the Senate Minority Leader. Additionally, Senators David Hann (R-Eden Prairie), Joe Gimse (R-Willmar), Chris Gerlach (R-Apple Valley) and Amy Koch (R-Buffalo) have been elected Assistant Minority Leaders.
The House DFL caucus has 87 members including 11 new freshmen. Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis) and Majority Leader Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm) will once again lead their caucus. Assistant Leaders will be selected soon. The Speaker has indicated there will be some changes to committees and committee structure. The House Republicans, after sevaral ballots, selected Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) as Republican Minority Leader. Assistant Minority Leaders for the caucus will be announced in early December. The Republicans have 47 members of which 12 are newly elected.
For up-to-date information about the Minnesota Legislature, tune into Almanac: At the Capitol. This lively and informative program is aired Wednesdays during the legislative session on Twin Cities Public Television at 7:00 PM on Channel 17 and at 10:00 PM on Channel 2.
Almanac: At the Capitol is seen on all public television stations throughout Minnesota and in Fargo. Winthrop & Weinstine is the exclusive law-firm partner and a sponsor of the program.
For more information and to see previous broadcasts, check out the Almanac: At the Capitol Web site at http://tpt.org/aatc/.