Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The November election is just a few months away and I thought you might be interested in some changes that were passed at the legislature this session:
Presidential primary: Responding to the frenzied Minnesota precinct caucuses this year, a new law establishes a semi-closed presidential primary where a voter will receive a ballot for only one party and must attest to that partys principles. A voter can decide on Election Day which ballot/party to choose. The presidential primary will have no impact on the states August primary, when federal, state and local candidates for office will be chosen. The law will take effect for the 2020 presidential election cycle.
Streamlined absentee voting: County auditors may now provide an alternate method for in-person absentee voting that would be similar to voting in a polling place on Election Day. Under this alternative method, a voter would be permitted to complete an absentee ballot and deposit it directly in a ballot box. The current standard absentee voting process requires an absentee voter to seal their completed ballot in two envelopes to await processing by a ballot board at a later date. If the discretionary option is provided, it may only be available during the seven days immediately before an election.
School board vacancies: In most situations, school board vacancies can now be filled by appointment rather than special election, thus saving school districts money.
U.S. Military or Veteran ID: The federally-issued Veterans Identification Card has been added to the list of acceptable photo identification documents Minnesotans can now use for same-day voter registration. This could benefit over 100,000 veterans.
There were several other measures that were not passed by the Legislature including automatic voter registration, early voting, voter pre-registration of 16 and 17-year olds and allowing felons to vote as long as they are no longer incarcerated.
An issue Ive spoken of before that was not passed this session was legislation that would provide greater transparency over who is financing efforts to influence election outcomes.
I expect that many of these proposals will be reconsidered during the 2017 legislative session.
The 2016 Legislative Session is in the books, concluded in chaos with so much left on the table.
A reporter asked me what I thought about the end of the session, and if I thought things would have gone differently if women were better represented in the Legislature.
These news items are from Representative Hausman's e-mail update. To subscribe, visit her House member web page.
A new home for the Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
After a 10-year effort to construct a new facility to house the states natural history museum,
Rep. Hausman was successful in getting legislation enacted that authorizes funding for a new Bell Museum
and Planetarium. The new, revitalized Bell Museum and Planetarium will inspire generations of students to
embrace careers in the sciences, engineering, and technology. The facility will be located on the southwest
corner of Larpenteur and Cleveland Avenues in Falcon Heights adjacent to the
Picture courtesy of the Bell Museum of Natural History and Minnesota Planetarium.
Update: On Earth Day, Rep. Hausman participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new museum.
Hausman tackles homelessness in Minnesota