One of the most rewarding parts of serving in the Senate is helping people resolve problems. This week, I had two bipartisan-supported bills heard in the Senate Transportation and Judiciary committees. Both bills were the result of local residents coming to me with a problem and asking me to find common-sense bipartisan solutions.
As a former teacher, principal and coach, I know how important it is for parents, kids and teachers to feel safe at school. Under tight budget constraints, schools are wrestling with an increasing list of demands for security upgrades — training teachers to identify and work with students struggling with mental illness, counselors and mental health professionals, and figuring out how to make local schools a secure and positive learning environment. It's an overwhelming task and it's getting more difficult after each new school tragedy.
The annual state fair poll, conducted at the Minnesota Senate booth, is a nonpartisan survey of issues discussed in prior legislative sessions and potential topics in 2018. The results, while not scientific, give legislators an informal look at how Minnesotans feel about a range of common and uncommon questions. More than 5,300 Minnesotans took the poll — with more than 44 percent respondents living in the suburbs, 36 percent in the cities, and 17 percent in outstate Minnesota.