Archive for March, 2010
March 9, 2010
Is it only me, or does it seem a little odd that Minnesota had a shot at some $250 million for K-12 education – and Education Minnesota said, “No thanks”? Now, of course, according to the union, it had “an alternative proposal which would drive more money to the classroom (read: teachers).” So the way I read that is since we did not like the Department of Education’s proposal, and you won’t do it our way, send some other state the money.
Of the 16 finalists still in the running, only one – Florida – did not have union support for its proposal. Interestingly enough, Florida does have alternative teacher licensure options so it made the cut. We don’t have those either. Can you guess why? So the next time you see a nice Education Minnesota ad pleading for more resources for K-12 education, ask yourself, “Would an additional $250 million have made a difference?” I think so.
March 3, 2010
Sometimes there is nothing better than watching government at work. On March 2, the Senate Energy and Utilities Committee took up the issue of whether Minnesota should end its moratorium on considering new nuclear power as an option for base-load power in Minnesota. If the experts are right, and we hope they are, Minnesota will need new base-load power in the 2020s – which might as well be tomorrow in terms of planning purposes. So, business, organized labor, utilities and some outdoors advocates have come together to urge the Legislature to take the handcuffs off of this debate. Remember, we said “consider as an option” – not “build a new nuclear power plant.”
We brought in scientists and nuclear power experts along with representatives of organized labor and the business community to ask the committee to lift the moratorium. The opponents brought “a statistically valid poll of 650 Minnesotans” and more scare tactics than I could write down, including several who testified “that you know they (the federal government) may decide to store the waste here in Minnesota.” Last time I checked, we already store some here and I am still having trouble connecting our moratorium and becoming the nation’s next (first?) Yucca Mountain. Makes you wonder why they are working so hard to thwart the conversation.