The State of the Union address is a chance for the president to lay out his agenda. It is also a chance for members of Congress to make political points through the guests they invite.
So here’s a rundown of the Minnesota delegation’s priorities tonight:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar – St. Cloud State University President Earl Potter, a champion of high-tech education, to highlight the need for exports and immigration reform, including Klobuchar’s legislation to expand visas for skilled foreign workers to meet the demands of a high-tech economy.
Sen. Al Franken -- Central Lakes College President Larry Lundblad, a leader in workplace development, to highlight the education “skills gap” in manufacturing.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison – Samir Rahamim, son of a Minneapolis businessman who was shot and killed in a mass shooting last September, to act as a spokesman for gun control.
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen – Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who has been beating a path to Washington lately, to confer with the Obama administration on its plans to reduce gun violence.
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz – St. Peter Schools Superintendent Jeff Olson, to emphasize that a strong economy starts with a good education.
Finally, another Minnesotan will be in the audience at the invitation of First Lady Michelle Obama – Abby Schanfield, a U of M grad who grew up with chronic illnesses and would have lost health coverage at age 21 due to pre-existing conditions, had it not been for Obamacare.
Star Tribune Recommends
More From Hot Dish Politics
A special session agenda would include tax cuts, a public works bill and financial assistance for some Minnesotans facing skyrocketing health insurance premiums.
Liberal Jewish group defends Rep. Keith Ellison in light of criticism of previous comments
Klobuchar, Franken among most productive senators for number of bills passed
DFLer Dan Wolgamott requested a recount in the state Senate race he lost by 148 votes.
The Capitol will open for business on Jan. 3, but the official marking of its $310 million renovation will be in August.