Divorce, abortion, education reform, unemployment among veterans.
Those were just a few of the issues that kept Eagan's legislators busy during this year's legislative session, which ended on May 10. Now that the dust has cleared, here is a look at some of the personal actions taken by Sen. Ted Daley (R), Rep. Diane Anderson (R) and Rep. Doug Wardlow (R).
Daley's focus last session fell largely on education and the economy—thanks in part to his membership on the Senate's Education and Jobs and Economic Growth Committees.
In the education arena, the legislator authored a bill requiring teachers to pass basic skills exams during their licensing process—which was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton. He also co-authored a less successful measure to repeal "Last-In-First-Out" standards. Under the proposed bill, vetoed by Dayton, teachers would be dismissed on the basis of performance evaluations and experience as opposed to seniority.
On the jobs front, Daley took special interest in combating the relatively high unemployment rate among veterans, authoring a bill permitting private employers to preferentially hire veterans and another measure allowing state agencies to hire disabled vets on a non-competitive basis, both of which were passed into law.
Daley, who has already started his door-knocking efforts for the 2012 election cycle, declined to comment on whether he feels the Democratic division between former Sen. Jim Carlson and Mayor Mike Maguire has helped his prospects. He did say he plans to meet with many local business owners and get to know the residents of the new Burnsville precincts added to his district through redistricting.
The media tries to portray a legislature that is deeply fractured along partisan lines, Anderson said, but the state representative doesn't believe that was entirely the case during the 2012 session.
Anderson, a member of the House's Health and Human Services Finance Committee, was involved in the bipartisan passage of an omnibus bill that incuded EBT and Welfare fraud reforms. The omnibus bill also included a piece of legislation from Anderson that provides more temporary assistance to homeless families.
Anderson also authored a bill requiring parents with minor children who are getting a divorce to attend a four-hour marriage dissolution education program concerning constructive marriage dissolution, risk factors for families and minimizing conflict. The state representative also backed a widely supported transparency bill drafted by Burnsville Rep. Pam Myhra.
On Anderson's radar in 2012? Finding ways to effectively address homelessness and the amount of college debt taken on by students.
Minnesota businesses spend too much money on lawsuits, according to Wardlow, who authored a civil action reform bill that allows businesses that are the victim of class action lawsuits greater use of appeals.
Wardlow also struck out against the rulemaking authority of state agencies, drafting a measure allowing legislative review of certain regulations imposed by state agencies that could have an adverse impact on the private sector economy.
The state representative wasn't one to shy away from more controversial subjects. He is a vocal supporter of Minnesota's right-to-work constitutional amendment and a co-author of the Voter ID amendment. Wardlow also cast his support behind .
Moving forward to this year's election cycle, Wardlow is pitching a message of government reform and downsizing and says he wants to evaluate what government should and shouldn't be doing.
"I strongly believe the fact that government doesn’t create prosperity, that people do," Wardlow said. "We're going to keep talking about unleashing the power of fair enterprise."