Advances in technology have dramatically changed how people live, and Minnesotans expect the highest level of efficiency and security from state government, whether renewing license tabs, buying a fishing license or applying for a state service. Tarek Tomes, Minnesota's Chief Information Officer and Commissioner of MNIT, joins Capitol Report moderator Shannon Loehrke to talk about the agency's efforts to protect data and the possibilities for Artificial Intelligence.
Minnesota’s agricultural production is valued at $21.3 billion, seventh in the United States, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Thom Petersen, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, joins Shannon to talk about the health of the state's agricultural economy, efforts to diversify the industry, the newly established grain indemnity fund and the importance of international trade relations.
Also in the program, public school technology professionals provide testimony to members of the Legislative Commission on Cybersecurity and a look at the life of Minnesota's eighth governor, John Sargent Pillsbury.
Since 2014, Minnesota has had a petition-based system for people with low-level criminal convictions to have their records expunged. The Minnesota Clean Slate Act of 2023 will automate the expungement process, beginning January 1, 2025. The Senate’s chief author of the new law, Senator Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, joins Capitol Report moderator Shannon Loehrke to explain the new efforts providing second chances.
Burnout, stress and low wages are some of the challenges facing Minnesota’s emergency medical services personnel. The legislature has created a Joint Task Force on Emergency Medical Services to look for ways to bolster these essential services. Senator Judy Seeberger, DFL-Afton, is a co-chair of the task force, and she joins Shannon to discuss the challenges facing the profession.
Plus, Governor Tim Walz holds a press conference to announce a new $10 million dollar initiative that will provide low-interest loans to small businesses, and a look at the life of Governor Cushman Kellogg Davis.
Minnesota’s agricultural production is valued at $21.3 billion, seventh in the United States, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Thom Petersen, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, joins Capitol Report moderator Shannon Loehrke to talk about the health of the state's agricultural economy, efforts to diversify the industry, the newly established grain indemnity fund and the importance of international trade relations.
The 2024 legislative session convenes Monday, February 12, and committee chairs are beginning preparations for the non-budget-setting session. Senator John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, joins Shannon to talk about the challenges facing nursing homes, workforce concerns, aging in place and top priorities for the coming session.
Also in the program, Governor Tim Walz signs an executive order making it easier for people to qualify for state jobs, lawmakers promote a new law that allows for second chances and the Metropolitan Governance Task Force considers the regional planning system of Portland, Oregon.
Sponsors of the new Clean Slate Act appeared before the media Monday, October 30, to announce the first in a series of free clinics that will jumpstart the expungement process for individuals with nonviolent criminal records.
"Roughly a quarter of Minnesotans have a record that can create barriers to housing, employment and education opportunities," said Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, in a released statement. "Thousands of our neighbors facing these barriers are eligible for expungement," he added.
The expungement process would seal the criminal conviction records for individuals who committed nonviolent offenses, thus creating a "clean slate." The expungement process will become automatic in 2025. The free clinics will help individuals apply for an earlier expungement date.
Last May, in front of a crowd of DFL leaders, committee chairs and lawmakers, Governor Tim Walz held a One Minnesota Budget signing ceremony, signaling a major shift to progressive policies in the state. Governor Walz joins Capitol Report moderator Shannon Loehrke to talk about the cost of raising kids, new state agencies, the attack on Israel, international trade and his plans for the 2024 legislative session.
The budget approved during the 2023 legislative session included an E-12 education policy and funding bill that used a portion of the budget surplus to boost spending by more than $2.2 billion. Senator Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton, chair of the Senate Education Finance Committee, recently toured several Minnesota schools to see how the additional dollars are being used. She joins Shannon to talk about the tours, the future work of the committee, Indigenous Peoples' Day as a state holiday and the importance of libraries.
Also in the program, highlights of the most recent meeting of the Legislative Task Force on Aging and a look at the Minnesota Capitol's "Spiral for Justice" Memorial honoring Roy Wilkins.