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BLOG: New Laws of Session, Redistricting, Forecast

Summary of Week of Feb. 20-24, First New Laws, Looking Ahead

First New Law: Teacher Basic Skills

The bill Monday on a 60-1 vote and it was signed into law on Wednesday as Minnesota’s first new law of the 2012 session. This will require teachers to successfully complete a basic skills examination in math, reading, and writing before receiving a license as a classroom teacher.

Previous law allowed teacher candidates to take the basic skills test when ready to apply for a license and permitted a teacher who failed the basic skills test to receive and even renew a temporary one-year teaching license up to two more times while continuing to teach.

Out-of-state applicants for Minnesota teacher licenses will also have to pass the test. Minnesota has received criticism from groups like the National Council on Teacher Quality for permitting persons who have not yet passed state licensing tests to teach in classrooms, and I was proud to have been able to work closely with educators and members of the administration to craft a bill that works for everyone, and puts Minnesota’s kids first.

Redistricting

Maps redrawing legislative and congressional district lines for this fall’s elections were released Tuesday. Our current Eagan/Burnsville Senate District 38 will become 51, and add three Burnsville precincts.

The redistricting exercise is done every 10 years after the census. The number of districts remains the same but district borders are changed to make sure each district has approximately the same number of people in it, currently 80,000 per Senate district. There were some surprises in the court-ordered plan, including 48 legislative matchups, and 23 new open districts.

Please remember that you continue to be represented by your current senator and representative, as well as congressperson. To see how the change will affect you or a family member for the upcoming election, go to the state Geographic Information Services website at www.gis.leg.mn/html/redistricting.html, click on the interactive map and enter the address.

I will continue to work enthusiastically on your behalf and welcome your questions and comments on legislative issues.

Sex Offenders

The Senate unanimously passed and the Governor signed a bill Thursday that amends the state law on public notification for sex offenders. This bill changes current law to require community notification prior to a provisional discharge and instead allows full community notification upon the transfer of the sex offender from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program to a residential treatment facility, such as a halfway house. Under the provisions of this bill, all levels of community notification would occur, including notifying law enforcement, former victims, daycares and schools or other groups that may fit a victim profile and general community meetings in the neighborhood. The measure was fast-tracked and received near unanimous support in both houses after the announcement that a high-risk pedophile held for 19 years in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program will be discharged to a St. Paul halfway house under a precedent-setting ruling. It is effective immediately.

Next Week

The Senate will take up the “last in, first out” (LIFO) bill, which I co-author. HF 1870 seeks to change the law to end seniority-based layoffs will help our schools keep their best teachers in the classroom. Minnesota is one of only 11 states that require school districts to base teacher layoffs on seniority, without consideration of teacher effectiveness.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Thomas Anderson February 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM
This blog is nothing more than self-serving campaign BS. Shame Senator Daley! Funny that you ran on jobs, jobs, jobs then delivered a far right hate amendment, and an amendment to disenfranchise voters to aid you re-election. Interesting that you are avoiding talking about your extreme social issue bills while highlighting these puff-pieces. You were elected on false pretenses and you will be fired.
ellen holmes lafans February 29, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Senator Daley, I found out that you are a member of ALEC, along with other republicans legislators here in Eagan, and that much of the material that you use on your bills are actually written by ALEC to represent the corporate interests and not the people of Eagan. I call on Eagan residents to educate ourselves about ALEC. http://www.americanindependent.com/209300/watchdog-group-releases-extensive-report-on-alecs-activities-in-minnesota Lastly, your Teacher Basic Skills Bill, is unfair and disrespectful to teachers as they have a college education. The truth is that this bill, along with many others being passed by our current republican legislators, takes us away from the real issues such as jobs, fair taxation, health care and the economy. Teachers Basic Skills, may have passed overwhelmingly, but what is alarming is the last bill you mention, "Last In, First Out". I see this bill for what it is, a way to try to harass and lay-off teachers with seniority, as you only have teacher lay-offs when you don't fund the schools..... I want to point out to the readers that too many companies, and others businesses, are trying to lay-off senior workers to cut cost - then we all pay the price! We need senior and experienced workers! Senator Daley, whose side are you on? Teachers should be heading to the polls with this one! SENATOR DALEY, YOU WERE THE LAST ONE IN, AND NOW I CALL ON YOU TO BE THE FIRST ONE OUT! WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE!

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