Good thing for Rep. Steve Drazkowski that kids can't vote. The Mazeppa Republican — known as "Draz" around the Capitol — has proposed up to five days of online learning if it's too snowy for school.
Thus eliminating the long-cherished tradition of sledding, snowball fights and cocoa on a snow day.
As Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, wrote in an e-mail to constituents: "Were they never kids?"
The deadline for bills to pass out of committee is Friday, which means it will be one of the busiest weeks of the legislative session. First up, the Senate will take up its version of the Real ID bill, which would bring the state into compliance with a federal law designed to upgrade state driver's licenses and IDs to guard against identity theft and terrorism.
Without state compliance, Minnesotans won't be able to fly or enter federal facilities without a passport or some other enhanced ID.
The problem is that SenateRepublicans don't have the votes to pass it alone, because some of their members are opposed on privacy and other constitutional grounds. Gov. Mark Dayton told Senate DFLers that they should use that leverage to demand that immigrants here illegally be allowed to get driver's licenses.
Republicans hit Dayton hard on the issue at a news conference last week. But that doesn't change the parliamentary reality: no votes, no Real ID.
A lot of chatter last week about a letter signed by 11 DFL lawmakers who say the party's approach to door knocking, which is basically the hand-to-hand combat of politics, is broken (excuse the mixed metaphors). The signatories think the DFL is not hitting enough doors and is taking the wrong approach once there.
I talked to a number of political pros who were pretty dismissive of the memo, citing the need for data and for narrowing down the universe of voters. If you want to knock on every door, for instance, you need to hit 240 per week every week for a year, and even then given contact rates and the number of voters who will never vote for you, it's inefficient.
On the other hand, even people who disagreed with the memo seemed to acknowledge that something needs fixing with the party's outreach efforts after heavy losses in legislative races in two straight election cycles.
J. Patrick Coolican • 651-925-5042 firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @jpcoolican