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Improving MN’s Vehicle Registration System, Examining Violence Against Indigenous Women

Improving MN’s Vehicle Registration System, Examining Violence Against Indigenous Women


>>”CAPITOL REPORT” IS A PRODUCTION OF SENATE MEDIA SERVICES.>>LAWMAKERS ARE STUDYING OUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION POLICIES AND EXAMINING THE GROWING RATE OF MISSING INDIGENOUS WOMEN. PLUS, A NEW REPORT ON THE OVERPAYMENT OF FUNDS TO MINNESOTA TRIBES FIGHTING OPIOID ADDICTION AND STOPPING STUDENT VAPING IN SCHOOLS. STAY TUNED FOR “CAPITOL REPORT.” ♪♪>>WELCOME TO THIS WEEK’S PROGRAM. I’M SHANNON LOEHRKE. TWO LEGISLATIVE GROUPS MET THIS WEEK, A TASK FORCE CREATED BY THE LEGISLATURE TO TACKLE PROBLEMS WITH MINNESOTA’S VEHICLE REGISTRATION SYSTEM AND AN AUDIT COMMISSION TO REVIEW OVERPAYMENTS BY DHS TO THE WHITE EARTH NATION AND THE LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE FOR CLIENTS IN THEIR OPIOID MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT PROGRAMS. SENATOR MARY KIFFMEYER IS THE CHAIR OF THE TASK FORCE AND A MEMBER OF THE AUDIT COMMISSION AND SHE JOINS ME NOW. THANKS FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU, SHANNON, FOR HAVING ME.>>THE VEHICLE REGISTRATION TASK FORCE GREW OUT OF THE 2018 REVIEW BY THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR THAT EXAMINED THE ACCURACY OF TRANSACTIONS WITHIN THE SOON TO BE RETIRED MINNESOTA LICENSING AND REGISTRATION SYSTEM, OR MNLARS. WHAT IS THE CHARGE OF THE TASK FORCE?>>THE DUTY OF THE TASK FORCE IS VERY EXPLICIT. RECOGNIZE THAT MINNESOTA’S CURRENT FORMULA, AND, BY THE WAY, THERE ARE ABOUT FIVE DIFFERENT WAYS NATIONWIDE TO CALCULATE THIS REGISTRATION FEE, WEIGHT, VALUE, A VARIETY OF METHODS THAT WE DO — MINNESOTA CHOSE THE MOST COMPLICATED ONE, AND OF THE COMPLICATED ONES, WE ARE ONE OF THE MOST COMPLICATED. SO IT GETS REALLY DEEP IN THE WEEDS. AND THAT MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE OUT THERE TO UNDERSTAND WHY IS THE SAME VEHICLE THAT I PURCHASED GOT A DIFFERENT FEE THAN SOMEBODY ELSE. BUT ALL OF THOSE RATE BASE, ALL THOSE INFORMATION, THE VIN INFORMATION, HUGELY COMPLICATED. THE JOB OF THE TASK FORCE IS TO WORK TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT IS SIMPLER, EFFECTIVE, AND, YET, DOES NOT REDUCE THE REVENUE. AND THE MAIN REASON FOR THAT IS, HALF OF THE ROAD FUND IS FUNDED, ALMOST HALF OF IT, ABOUT, I WOULD SAY, 45% OF IT OR SO, IS FUNDED BY THIS FEE. IT GOES DIRECTLY INTO THE ROAD AND BRIDGE ACCOUNT. SO IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE NOT SHORT IT AT ALL. SO OUR TASK IS, COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT WAY, MAKE IT SIMPLE, MAKE IT EFFICIENT, AND MAKE IT REVENUE NEUTRAL, MEANING NOT MORE, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LESS.>>THE AUDITOR’S REVIEW FOUND STRIKING DISCREPANCIES IN THE BASE VALUE OF PASSENGER VEHICLES, WHICH LED TO VAST DIFFERENCES IN THE AMOUNT OF TAXES AND FEES THAT PEOPLE OWED WITH ESSENTIALLY THE SAME VEHICLE, AS YOU SAID. AND I REMEMBER ONE FORD F-150 HAD A BASE VALUE OF $2 AND ANOTHER $70,000, WHICH CHANGES THE TAX CALCULATIONS, LIKE, HUGELY, I MEAN, VERY EXPENSIVE.>>AND NOT ONLY FOR THAT FIRST TIME BUT FOR THE LIFE OF THE VEHICLE.>>SO, WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING QUESTIONS? YOU’VE KIND OF ALREADY SAID, BUT WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED AS THE STATE PREPARES FOR ITS NEW VEHICLE REGISTRATION SYSTEM, OR SENIOR CITIZEN RES, THAT’S COMING ON LINE IN ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF OR SO? VTRS.>>IT’S REALLY CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE COME UP WITH WHAT IS THAT WAY WE’RE GOING TO CALCULATE THE FEE, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO USE? AGE OF THE VEHICLE? ARE WE GOING TO USE WEIGHT, ARE WE GOING TO USE SOME FORM OF THE VALUE, ARE WE GOING TO USE A FLAT ONE? FLAT HAS A LOT OF THINGS TO IT BECAUSE IT’S THE FLAT FEE, BOOM, EVERYBODY PAYS THE SAME, . THE PROBLEM IS GOING FROM THE PREVIOUS SYSTEM TO A FLAT FEE, THAT MEANS THOSE WHO ARE RIGHT NOW IN THE BOTTOM, WE HAVE TO MAKE A TRANSITION. THOSE WHO ARE AT THE TOP. AND, SO, IN MINNESOTA VALUES, I THINK WE’RE GENERALLY SAYING, WE DON’T REALLY PARTICULARLY LIKE THAT ONE. A CAR ON THE ROAD IS A CAR ON THE ROAD. BUT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE REALITY OF WHAT WE CAN DO. SO, OUR JOB IS TO COME UP WITH THAT SO THAT THIS NEW SOFTWARE KNOWS WHAT TO PROGRAM IN. BUT, BY THE WAY, WHEN WE HAD THE F.A.S.T. COMPANY REPRESENTATIVES COME IN, WE ASKED THEM THE QUESTION, HOW SOON DO YOU NEED TO KNOW? BY JANUARY, FEBRUARY OF NEXT YEAR IS WHEN WE NEED TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO THAT. SO THAT TIMING IS IMPORTANT. AND THE DECISION IS IMPORTANT. AND THE HEARING THAT WE HAD, WE SPENT TWO HOURS KIND OF LAYING THE STAGE FOR THE PROBLEM BECAUSE WE DON’T ALL AGREE THERE IS A PROBLEM. IT’S HARD TO SAY, WELL, THEN, WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? SO WE’RE WAITING FOR THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, THE FINANCIAL DEPARTMENT, TO COME UP WITH ANALYSIS OF ALL THOSE FOUR DIFFERENT METHODOLOGIES, WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO BE REVENUE NEUTRAL AND THEN WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DECIDE ON ONE OF THOSE. WE’RE LOOKING AT HAVING ANOTHER MEETING IN THE NEXT TWO, THREE WEEKS TO GET THAT REPORT TO GET THAT DATA SO WE CAN TIMELY MAKE THAT DECISION SO THAT THEY CAN DO THE SOFTWARE.>>THERE IS SOME URGENCY HERE. ONE OTHER THING FROM THE COMMITTEE THAT I THOUGHT WAS INTERESTING IS THAT THE STATE PROHIBITS CHANGES IN BASE VALUE MADE AFTER THE FACT. SO IF IT’S INPUTTED INCORRECTLY, IT STAYS INCORRECT, AS YOU MENTIONED. WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT MANUFACTURERS DON’T RELEASE A FINAL SUGGESTED RETAIL VALUE UNTIL UP TO 18 MONTHS AFTER THE CAR HAS BEEN PURCHASED OR THERE COULD BE BASIC HUMAN ERROR IN DATA ENTRY, DOES THAT PART OF THE LAW NEED TO CHANGE SO THAT AS VALUES MAYBE ARE ADJUSTED OVER TIME IT AFFECTS THE TAX OWED OVER THAT TIME?>>OH, ABSOLUTELY, SHANNON. MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO IS SCRAP THAT WHOLE THING OR STRIKE OUT ALL THE VAGUERIES, ALL THE VARIETY OF THINGS. OH, MY GOSH, YOU READ IT, IT’S JUST LIKE A RABBIT TRAIL OR AN ANT OR WHATEVER IT GOES, AND THEN IF THIS, AND OH, BY THE WAY, IF THAT, AND THEN THERE’S A CHART FOR THIS AND A CHART FOR THAT. NO WONDER. BUT I REMEMBER THINKING, THOUGH, WHEN THEY DID THE ORIGINAL MNLARS, YOU KNOW, THE LONG THING, DID ANYBODY STOP TO THINK, THIS IS TOO COMPLICATED, SHOULD WE GO TO THE LEGISLATURE AND ASK THEM TO CREATE A TASK FORCE AND DO IT. THEY DIDN’T DO THAT. OF COURSE, THE SOFTWARE IS SO BADLY WRITTEN, WE ALL KNOW THAT OLD STORY. BUT WE HAVE A GREAT COMPANY NOW. AND, ABSOLUTELY, YES, WE JUST CAN’T KEEP DOING IT THAT WAY. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE QUESTION THAT WE HAD IN THE TASK FORCE HEARING WAS, IS THERE ANY WAY TO GET ACCURATE DATA STILL DOING THE CURRENT MINNESOTA LAW? IT WAS CLEAR THAT ABSOLUTELY NOT, YOU CANNOT. AND, SO, THE IMPORTANT CONCLUSION WAS, YES, THIS IS UNWORKABLE. I’M SORRY, I WAS THERE ALREADY A YEAR AGO WHEN I DRAFTED A BILL TO COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT WAY, BUT, FINALLY, I THINK A LARGE GROUP OF STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, A WHOLE VARIETY OF FOLKS, I THINK HAVE FINALLY SETTLED THAT, YES, THIS WILL NOT WORK, WE HAVE TO COME UP EITHER WITH A NEW KIND OF VALUE BASIS LIKE THE MINNESOTA SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE. OKAY. THAT’S A STICKER, THAT’S WHAT’S ON THE CAR.>>RIGHT.>>THAT KIND OF FITS WITH MINNESOTA’S CURRENT WAY. THERE’S STILL OTHER PROBLEMS, THOUGH. 45% OF THE CURRENT VEHICLES ARE ONLY PAYING $35 ON THEIR REGISTRATION FEE BECAUSE THEIR CAR IS MORE THAN TEN YEARS OLD. SO HALF OF THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING $35 AND 55% OF THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING A MUCH LARGER AMOUNT TO TAKE CARE OF THE ROADS AND BRIDGES. SO I THINK WE’VE GOT TO ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THAT EQUITY IN REGARDS TO A CAR ON THE ROAD STILL HAS WEIGHT AND STILL DOES HAVE WEAR AND TEAR ON THE ROAD AND WE’VE GOT TO TAKE CARE OF BALANCING THAT BETTER AS WELL.>>I’D LIKE TO GET YOUR INPUT ON ONE OTHER ITEM BECAUSE IT WAS A BUSY WEEK HERE AT THE LEGISLATURE. THE JOINT MEETING OF THE LEGISLATIVE AUDIT COMMISSION MET TO HEAR THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR ABOUT THE OVERPAYMENTS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO TWO TRIBAL COMMUNITIES FOR ADDICTION TREATMENT. WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON THIS?>>WELL, ADDICTION TREATMENT IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT. WE WANT TO BE SURE THAT EVERYBODY GETS THE RIGHT MEDICATION AT THE RIGHT TIME BY THE RIGHT PROVIDER. HOWEVER, THERE IS BOTH FEDERAL LAW AND STATE LAW IN REGARDS TO AN ENCOUNTER. AN ENCOUNTER MEANS FACE TO FACE, WE HAVE AN ENCOUNTER. BUT WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING HERE IS THE DEPARTMENT, SOMEWHERE, SOMEPLACE, SOMEBODY LITERALLY AT THE COMMITTEE HEARING SAID TODAY, THAT, OKAY, THAT EVEN IF YOU DIDN’T MEET FACE TO FACE, WE WOULD PAY YOU AS IF YOU HAD. AND THAT’S CONTRARY TO BOTH MINNESOTA AND FEDERAL LAW. AND, IN ADDITION, THE OTHER ISSUE THAT THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL IS SINCE THERE WAS NO ACTUAL FACE TO FACE, WHAT WAS THE $455 PAID FOR EACH ONE OF THOSE PILLS TAKEN AT HOME, OKAY, THAT’S NOT AN ENCOUNTER, THAT’S AT HOME, WHAT WAS THAT MONEY USED FOR? WHERE DID IT GO, SINCE, OBVIOUSLY, IT WASN’T NEEDED FOR THE PROVIDER OR THE OFFICE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. SO THE WHOLE BROAD ISSUE IS, HERE, THOSE WERE PAYMENTS INCORRECTLY MADE. BY THE WAY, THERE’S A LAW THAT ALSO SAYS THAT, YES, THERE CAN BE AN ERROR ON THE PART OF AN AGENCY THAT GAVE YOU BAD ADVICE. HOWEVER, THERE IS A CAVEAT. IF A REASONABLE PERSON WOULD HAVE SAID, WELL, THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE AN ENCOUNTER, AND THEY SHOULD HAVE SAID, WELL, THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE BECAUSE THE LAW ALSO SAYS, A REASONABLE PERSON SHOULD HAVE SAID, THIS DOESN’T SEEM RIGHT, AND THE TRIBES DIDN’T DO THAT. SO THERE’S SOME CULPABILITY, I THINK, ON BOTH SIDES IN RECOGNIZING THAT AN ENCOUNTER SHOULD BE THAT, AND THEN WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO. IN THE MEANTIME, STATE LAW ALSO REQUIRES THAT THEY RETURN THAT MONEY. THAT’S ANOTHER ISSUE ALTOGETHER THAT IS GOING TO TAKE QUITE A BIT OF TIME TO RESOLVE.>>AND WE WILL KEEP WATCHING. SENATOR KIFFMEYER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU, SHANNON, GLAD TO BE WITH YOU. ♪♪>>THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR APPEARED BEFORE THE LEGISLATIVE AUDIT COMMISSION TO PRESENT A REPORT THAT IDENTIFIED $29 MILLION IN IMPROPER PAYMENTS TO THE WHITE EARTH NATION AND THE LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE, FOR SELF-ADMINISTERED OPIOID TREATMENT MEDICATION.>>WHAT WE’RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT IS THE FACT THAT NORMALLY MY INSURANCE COMPANY WOULD HAVE PAID FOR THIS PRESCRIPTION, BOTTLE OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION, AND MY VISIT TO THE DOCTOR, BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE PAID EVERY TIME I OPENED THE MEDICINE CABINET AND TOOK ONE OF THESE TABLETS. BUT THE PROBLEM WE HAVE, AND THE REASON WE CONDUCTED THIS SPECIAL REVIEW, IS THAT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES HAS BEEN PAYING THE WHITE EARTH NATION AND THE LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE FOR THE CLIENTS THAT ARE CLIENTS OF THEIR OPIOID ADDICTION TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR THOSE CLIENTS TO SELF-ADMINISTER MEDICATIONS. WE THINK IT REALLY RESULTED FROM DYSFUNCTION AT THE DEPARTMENT. THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE THE PAYMENTS. THE DEPARTMENT DIDN’T REALLY EVEN HAVE A POLICY RATIONALE, MUCH LESS A LAW, THEY DIDN’T HAVE A POLICY RATIONALE WHEN WE ASKED THEM AFTER THE FACT, WHY DID YOU DO THIS, THEY HAD NO JUSTIFICATION.>>MANY OTHERS HAVE SAID IT WOULD BE PATENTLY UNFAIR TO ASK THE TRIBAL NATIONS TO REPAY FUNDS THEY ACCEPTED ON ERRONEOUS GUIDANCE FROM DHS AND THAT THE STATE HAS MORE CAPACITY FOR OBSERVING THESE FUNDS THROUGH ITS LONG-TERM FORECAST THAN THE TRIBES. WE WOULD BE CONCERNED IF A SOLUTION HARMED SERVICES TO OTHER MINNESOTANS. WE DO HAVE SUCH A STATUTE, ACTUALLY, ON THE MINNESOTA BOOKS. IN THE CASE OF CASH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS LIKE GENERAL ASSISTANCE AND MFIP, WHEREIN, WE’RE NOT ALLOWED TO COVER REFUNDS, IF THERE’S A DEPARTMENT ERROR, UNLESS A REASONABLE PERSON WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT THEY WERE BEING OVERPAID. I HOPE THAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL CONSIDER THIS.>>I AM AS TIRED AS ALL OF YOU ABOUT READING ABOUT PROBLEMS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES.>>THE LEECH LAKE BAND’S POSITION FROM THE OUTSET HAS BEEN THAT WE WILL NOT REPAY THIS MONEY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT AT FAULT. THAT REMAINS OUR POSITION TO THIS DAY AND THE OFFICE OFFICE F LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR’S REPORT CONFIRMS THAT WE ARE NOT AT FAULT. SEEKING REPAYMENT IN EXCESS OF $14 MILLION FROM THE LEECH LAKE BAND WILL RESULT IN CATASTROPHIC CUTS TO IMPORTANT SERVICES AND PROGRAMS NEEDED BY THE MOST VULNERABLE MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY. AND WILL ULTIMATELY ONLY SERVE TO EXACERBATE THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN THE LONG RUN. WE ARE COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND THE STATE OF MINNESOTA TO FIND A SOLUTION THAT DOES NOT NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR MOST MARGINALIZED AND NEEDY CITIZENS OR REQUIRE THE BAND TO REPAY THE FUNDS IT SHOULD NOT HAVE TO REPAY. ♪♪>>LAST YEAR THE MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE JOINED SIX OTHER STATES IN CREATING A TASK FORCE TO EXAMINE THE SYSTEMIC CAUSES BEHIND THE DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGH RATES OF VIOLENCE EXPERIENCED BY NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN AND GIRLS. RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE DUE TO THE LEGISLATURE IN DECEMBER 2020. SENATOR PATRICIA TORRES RAY, A MEMBER OF THE TASK FORCE, NOW JOINS ME IN THE STUDIO. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU. THANK YOU, SHANNON, I’M HAPPY TO BE HERE.>>WHEN I FIRST LEARNED ABOUT THIS TASK FORCE, I THINK THAT I IMMEDIATELY DREW AN INCORRECT CONCLUSION. I ASSUMED THAT THE RATE OF MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN WAS OCCURRING ON OR NEAR TRIBAL LANDS, BUT THEN I SAW A STATISTIC THAT 71% OF NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN LIVE IN URBAN AREAS. SO IS THE CRUX OF THE INVESTIGATION ALL INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS, NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE?>>ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THAT IS THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATION, AND YOU POINTED OUT TO THE FACT THAT WE HAVE REALLY LOOKED AT THIS ISSUE AS A RESPONSIBILITY OF TRIBAL COMMUNITIES, UNDERSTANDING THAT NOT ONLY IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY BUT IT IS HAPPENING ON TRIBAL LAND, AND THE REALITY IS THAT NATIVE COMMUNITIES — NATIVE WOMEN LIVE IN EVERY COMMUNITY, IN 87 COUNTIES, AND WE REALLY NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT THOSE JURISDICTIONS AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PUBLIC SAFETY OR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE DOING IN EACH AND EVERY TOWN IN MINNESOTA, AND IT CROSSES BORDER, YOU KNOW, IN EVERY STATE AND IN CANADA. I MEAN, IT GOES IN OUR ENTIRE CONTINENT. SO IT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THAT WE LOOK AT URBAN, SUBURBAN, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES AS WELL AS TRIBAL COMMUNITIES. THAT’S THE INTENTION OF THE LEGISLATION.>>FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STATISTICS REPEATEDLY SHOW THAT AMERICAN INDIAN WOMEN EXPERIENCE MUCH HIGHER LEVELS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE THAN OTHER U.S. WOMEN. WHAT DO YOU HOPE THE TASK FORCE WILL ACHIEVE IN THE END?>>YOU KNOW, FOUR IN FIVE NATIVE WOMEN HAVE EXPERIENCED SOME TYPE OF VIOLENCE IN THEIR LIFE, IN THEIR LIFETIME. SO, IT’S SO SIGNIFICANT, THERE ARE SO MANY ASPECTS TO THE WORK THAT THIS TASK FORCE HAS TO DO. ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WE REALLY INTEND TO DO IS REVIEW EXISTING DATA. DO WE REALLY HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THE INCIDENTS THAT TAKE PLACE, THE INVESTIGATIONS THAT TAKE PLACE, ARE WE COLLECTING INFORMATION? HAVE WE DONE AN ANALYSIS OF WHAT THAT MEANS? YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING ISSUES, THE ISSUES THAT CONNECT TO THE VIOLENCE THAT IMPACT WOMEN, WHETHER WE HAVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WOMEN WHO LIVE IN ISOLATION, WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES. THERE ARE SO MANY FACTORS THAT WE NEED TO ANALYZE. AND THEN WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT BARRIERS THAT EXIST. I THINK THAT’S AN ISSUE THAT I’M VERY INTERESTED IN DOING BECAUSE WE NEED TO WORK ON PREVENTION AND WE NEED TO REALLY IDENTIFY WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS THAT EXIST IN OUR SYSTEMS FOR NATIVE WOMEN TO ACCESS SYSTEMS OF SUPPORT, THE SYSTEMS THAT EXIST TODAY, BECAUSE WE TALK, YOU KNOW, CONSTANTLY ABOUT THE SYSTEMS THAT WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE TO SUPPORT WOMEN TO PREVENT, YOU KNOW, THESE SITUATIONS FROM HAPPENING. SO WE NEED TO KNOW IF THEY ARE WORKING, IF WOMEN KNOW THAT THEY EXIST AND THEY ARE THERE FOR THEM. AND THEN, FINALLY, WHAT ARE SOME OF, YOU KNOW, THE GAPS THAT EXIST IN THESE SYSTEMS THAT REALLY DO NOT ADDRESS, YOU KNOW, CULTURAL SENSITIVITY, ACCESS. WE TALK CONSTANTLY ABOUT WOMEN WHO HAVE CHILDREN. ARE WE EQUIPPED, REALLY, TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF WOMEN TODAY?>>WELL, LET’S TALK ABOUT JURISDICTION JUST FOR A MOMENT BECAUSE FROM WHAT I READ, THERE’S SIGNIFICANT UNDERREPORTING OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN. SO, HOW DOES JURISDICTION PLAY IN? HOW, WHEN IT’S A TRIBAL RESPONSIBILITY OR WHETHER IT’S THE SHERIFF OR WHETHER IT’S STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT, HOW DOES — WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THERE?>>I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY SIGNIFICANT INVESTIGATION. THE WORK THAT WE’RE GOING TO DO IN THE TASK FORCE IS REALLY UNDERSTANDING WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IT IS TO REALLY SHARE THE REPORT AND THEN HOW DO WE SHARE INFORMATION WITH TRIBAL AUTHORITIES, IF IT IS BEING DONE, HOW IT’S BEING CONDUCTED. I DON’T THINK WE HAVE GOOD INFORMATION ABOUT THAT. AND RIGHT NOW WE’RE LOOKING, REALLY, AT THE INCIDENCE OF VIOLENCE WITH WOMEN, BUT THIS TRANSCENDS, REALLY, TO CHILD WELFARE, YOU KNOW, HOW DO WE TREAT FAMILIES, HOW DO WE TREAT WOMEN WHO HAVE CHILDREN. SO MANY OF THE WOMEN WHO EXPERIENCE VIOLENCE TODAY EXPERIENCE THE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM AND THEIR CHILDREN ARE BEING REMOVED, HOW THE COUNTY AGENCIES ARE WORKING WITH THESE WOMEN, IS SOMETHING THAT WE — WE HAVE SOME INFORMATION BUT IT’S NOT EXHAUSTIVE. AND THEN WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT HOW COUNTIES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IS ACTUALLY CONDUCTING THIS INVESTIGATION, AND WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE INVESTIGATION, AFTER THE INCIDENT IS BEING DOCUMENTED, WHAT ARE THE SERVICES THAT EXIST AND WHO’S PROVIDING THESE SERVICES. I THINK THAT WE DON’T HAVE GOOD INFORMATION AND THAT’S WHY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT STEPS THAT THE TASK FORCE NEEDS TO TAKE IS TO REALLY DIVE INTO WHAT DOES THE INFRASTRUCTURE LOOK LIKE TODAY, HOW ARE WE PARTNERING RIGHT NOW WITH OUR TRIBAL SYSTEMS, IF WE ARE PARTNERING AT ALL, WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, JURISDICTIONS TAKE THIS MORE SERIOUSLY, WHAT COUNTIES TAKE THIS MORE SERIOUSLY THAN OTHERS, AND WE NEED TO BUILD SOME CONSISTENCY IN THE WORK THAT WE DO, AND THEN LATER ON FIGURE OUT WHERE ARE THE GAPS THAT EXIST THAT WE NEED TO CORRECT. SO RIGHT NOW, I THINK THIS IS ONE ASPECT THAT WE REALLY WANT TO DIVE INTO FIRST.>>THERE IS AN UNDERLYING ISSUE OF TRAUMA, AS YOU’RE POINTING OUT. THE JOURNAL “CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND ETHNIC MINORITY PSYCHOLOGY” POINTS OUT THAT NATIVE AMERICAN AND ALASKAN NATIVE WOMEN, POPULATION, NOT JUST WOMEN, EXPERIENCE HIGHER RATES OF ALCOHOL ABUSE, MENTAL ILLNESS AND OTHER TRAUMAS. IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU THINK THESE EXPERIENCES PLAY INTO MORE VICTIMIZATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS?>>I THINK IT’S VERY SIGNIFICANT. MY BACKGROUND IS CHILD WELFARE, AND I DEALT WITH THIS SYSTEM OF CHILD PROTECTION FOR 60 YEARS BEFORE I BECAME A SENATOR, AND THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF CASES WHERE WE HAVE CHILD PROTECTION INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVED CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY. AND I FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM HAS UNDERSTOOD THIS AND HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE FACT THAT WE HAVE SOME SIGNIFICANT ISSUES WE NEED TO ADDRESS IN TERMS OF HISTORIC TRAUMA AND USE OF CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY. BUT WE HAVE REALLY NOT BUILT A SYSTEM THAT IS ADEQUATE IN TERMS OF RESOURCES AND ALSO THAT IS CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE. AND, SO, WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. AND, TO ME, PERSONALLY, THIS IS ONE AREA IN WHICH I REALLY REALLY WANT TO PUT EMPHASIS IN TERMS OF TIME AND RESOURCES BECAUSE WE COULD HAVE A VERY GOOD SYSTEM OF REPORTING AND DOCUMENTING AND MAKING SURE THAT OUR SYSTEM COUNTS THESE INCIDENTS, BUT IF WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO RESPOND TO THESE INCIDENTS AND TO LOOK AT HOW DO WE DO PREVENTION, HOW DO WE PROVIDE SERVICES TO THE FAMILIES AND TO THE WOMEN, THEN I DON’T THINK THAT WE HAVE DONE WHAT IS NECESSARY. SO, TO ME, THIS IS, REALLY, THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT WE NEED TO DO. WE NEED TO RESPOND TO THE CRITICAL NEEDS THAT WOMEN WE KNOW HAVE TODAY BECAUSE WE HAVE DOCUMENTED SOME OF THESE VERY SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS BUT, YET, WE’RE NOT INVESTING ENOUGH IN DEALING WITH SOME OF THESE VERY HISTORIC TRAUMAS THAT HAVE AFFECTED, YOU KNOW, FAMILIES AND WOMEN FOR GENERATIONS.>>I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO READING THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS AS THEY COME OUT TOWARDS THE END OF NEXT YEAR. SENATOR TORRES RAY, THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU. ♪♪>>SAYING SCHOOLS ARE GROUND ZERO FOR THE RISE IN VAPING, SENATE EDUCATION CHAIR CARLA NELSON AND REPRESENTATIVE HEATHER EDELSON PROMOTED BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO KEEP NICOTINE PRODUCTS OUT OF THE HANDS OF MINNESOTA YOUTH.>>WE’RE NOT JUST DEALING WITH CIGARETTES ANYMORE. WE HAVE SEEN A MASSIVE INCREASE IN VAPING-RELATED ILLNESSES. 1,600 TO DATE, SPREADING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AND NOWHERE HAS THIS BEEN MORE IMPACTFUL THAN IN OUR SCHOOLS. THEY ARE GROUND ZERO FOR THE VAPING EPIDEMIC. THERE’S BEEN A GREAT INCREASE, 95% INCREASE IN EIGHTH GRADERS, 75% INCREASE IN NINTH GRADERS VAPING IN THE LAST 30 DAYS. 54% INCREASE IN 11th GRADERS VAPING IN THE LAST 30 DAYS. AND I THINK WHAT’S REALLY FRIGHTENING ABOUT THAT IS MOST STUDENTS ARE TOTALLY UNAWARE OF THE DANGERS. THEY DON’T REALIZE THAT THESE PRODUCTS HAVE NOT BEEN STUDIED REGARDING HEATING CHEMICALS TO 450° AND INHALING THAT VAPOR OR AEROSOL INTO ONE’S LUNGS. THERE JUST HASN’T BEEN ANY STUDIES ON THAT.>>IT’S NO LONGER LAWMAKERS. IT’S OUR STUDENTS SAYING, MY LUNGS HURT. I DIDN’T KNOW. WE’VE ALLOWED A COMPANY — COMPANIES TO TARGET THEM SAYING, IT’S BETTER THAN SMOKING. WE KNOW, NOT ONLY ADULTS ARE DYING, BUT OUR KIDS ARE GETTING SICK. WE ARE GOING TO SEE MORE ADDICTION THAN WE EVER HAVE, AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF THIS. SO RIGHT NOW IS A CALL FOR ALL OF US, NOT LAWMAKERS, AND NOT JUST COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND BUSINESS LEADERS, BUT ALL OF US TO STEP UP TO THIS CAUSE AND SAY, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. NO LONGER WILL YOU TARGET OUR KIDS. ♪♪>>BRIAN PEASE OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY OFFERS INSIGHT INTO ANOTHER STATE CAPITOL FEATURE, IN OUR SERIES “THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE.”>>THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE STATE CAPITOL IS REALLY THE FOCAL POINT OF ALL OF THE ACTIVITY THAT HAPPENS HERE. WHAT WAS CASS GILBERT’S IDEA BEHIND THIS PARTICULAR DESIGN?>>THE SECOND FLOOR IS REALLY CALLED THE GRAND FLOOR OF THE CAPITOL BECAUSE IT’S WHERE EVERYONE CAN COME UP HERE, GET ACCESS TO THE CHAMBERS, THE HOUSE, THE SENATE AND THE SUPREME COURT. IT’S A PLACE WHERE ALL THAT ACTIVITY IS TAKING PLACE EACH DAY OF SESSION, SO YOU HAVE PEOPLE LOBBYING FOR INTEREST GROUPS HERE, YOU HAVE THE PUBLIC THAT ARE HERE TO TALK TO THEIR LEGISLATORS AND SO FORTH, OR GO TO THE SUPREME COURT FOR THEIR HEARING. SO, REALLY, THE VISION THAT CASS GILBERT HAD FOR THIS SPACE ON THE SECOND FLOOR WAS TO BE A GRAND SPACE WHERE YOU REALLY GET A SENSE OF THE ARCHITECTURE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL COLONADES OF ITALIAN MARBLE COLUMN AND MINNESOTA STONE, YOU ALSO GET A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE FEEL FRIENDLY, ARE WELCOMED INTO THOSE SPACES, AT THE SAME TIME THEY’RE VISITING OR COMING HERE FOR BUSINESS.>>IN THE OTHER CAPITOLS I’VE VISITED, I’VE NOTICED THAT THE HOUSE CHAMBER IS OFTEN ACROSS FROM THE SENATE CHAMBER, BUT NOT HERE IN OUR CAPITOL. WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THAT?>>I THINK WHAT CASS GILBERT WAS LOOKING AT DOING IS CREATING A SYMMETRICAL BUILDING AND, SO, WE HAVE IN 1905, THERE WERE 63 SENATORS, NOT THE 67 WE HAVE TODAY, BUT WE HAD 119 HOUSE MEMBERS, SO THAT’S ALMOST TWICE THE SIZE. SO I THINK, FOR HIM, HOW YOU CONSTRUCT A BUILDING WITH ONE END OF THE BUILDING WITH A SMALLER CHAMBER AND THE OTHER OPPOSITE END WITH A HUGE CHAMBER JUST DOESN’T FIT ARCHITECTURALLY. SO HE PUT THE SENATE CHAMBER ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE BUILDING, THE SUPREME COURT, A SMALLER CHAMBER, OF COURSE, ON THE OPPOSITE END, AND THEN THE HOUSE, BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE, FIT PERFECTLY IN THE NORTH CORRIDOR, OR THE NORTH SIDE OF THE BUILDING.>>IT MAY JUST BE A MATTER OF FOLKLORE, BUT I’VE READ THAT THE PLACEMENT OF THE HOUSE CHAMBER LOOKING AT THE CITY OF St. PAUL IS IMPORTANT IN TERMS OF REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE, THAT THE SPEAKER IS LOOKING AT THE PEOPLE. IS THAT TRUE?>>YEAH. A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT THE WAY THE SPACES HAVE BEEN DESIGNED OR LAID OUT, THAT GILBERT WAS LOOKING AT THE HOUSE BEING KIND OF THE APPROACHABLE, IT’S MORE OF THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE, THE MEMBERS SERVE A TWO-YEAR TERM SO THERE’S MORE ROTATION OR MORE CHANGEOVER AS THE MEMBERS LEAVE OR GET RE-ELECTED OR NOT RE-ELECTED.>>THERE ARE MORE OF THEM.>>THERE’S MORE OF THEM AS WELL. SO THE IDEA IS, SYMBOLICALLY, IT FACES THE PUBLIC, FACES DOWNTOWN St. PAUL.>>IN 1905, WHEN THE CAPITOL OPENED, ALL OF THE STATE’S CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICES WERE HOUSED IN THIS BUILDING AND THAT’S NOT TRUE TODAY. CAN YOU TALK MORE ABOUT THAT?>>SURE. THE WHOLE IDEA OF THE BUILDING HERE WAS, THIS IS THE SEAT OF STATE GOVERNMENT SO, YOU HAVE YOUR EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICERS, YOU HAVE THE GOVERNOR, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, STATE TREASURER, THE STATE AUDITOR, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ALL HOUSED WITHIN THIS ONE BUILDING IN 1905. THAT GIVES YOU A SENSE OF HOW THIS BUILDING HAS CHANGED OVER ITS 112-YEAR HISTORY, IS YOU HAVE A LOT OF THOSE CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS MOVING OUT TO DIFFERENT CHAMBERS. THEY’RE GOING INTO THE STATE OFFICE BUILDING, BACK IN THE ’60s AND THE ’70s, YOU HAVE THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING WHERE THE TREASURER MOVED INTO. NOW THE TREASURER, WE, AS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, ABOLISHED THE TREASURER’S OFFICE SO THERE NO LONGER IS A TREASURER. AND THAT ALSO FITS IN WITH THE HISTORY OF THE SUPREME COURT, TOO. THEY WERE, UNTIL THE 1990s, EVERYTHING THEY HAD HERE, THE OFFICES, THE LAW LIBRARY, THE CHAMBER WAS THEIR HEADQUARTERS, KIND OF THEIR CENTER, GATHERING PLACE WHERE ALL THE WORK AND ALL THE BUSINESS THEY DO. AND THEN WHEN THE JUDICIAL CENTER WAS OPENED, THEY MOVED THERE. AND, SO, THEY HAVE NEW SUPREME COURT AND APPELLATE COURT OFFICES AND ALSO CHAMBERS THERE. BUT THEY STILL USE THIS SPACE IN THE STATE CAPITOL AS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR CONNECTION TO THIS BUILDING. ♪ DRAMATIC MUSIC ♪>>JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK AS WE DELVE INTO MORE TOPICS AFFECTING MINNESOTANS. I’M SHANNON LOEHRKE, AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US AT SENATE MEDIA SERVICES, THANKS FOR WATCHING.

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