Retired Legislative and Political Conference February 4, 2020

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                                                         2020 Legislative and Political Conference

                                                                            February 4, 2020

The conference was held this year at the TRA building, jointly sponsored by EdMN Retired and REAM.  Attendees were welcomed by Julie Jagusch, President of EdMN Retired, Joan Beaver, Legislative and Political Action committee chair, and Tim Moynihan, REAM legislative co-chair.



Jay Stoffel, TRA executive director spoke first, giving an overview and update on TRA. He reviewed membership, which consists of 202,000 people, the financial profile, investment returns, and actuarial condition.  He also discussed the pension bill and the funding needed in this upcoming biennial budget.

He also discussed an upcoming COLA study that will be done by the LCPR, and the need to keep a Defined Benefit plan.


Next, on the agenda was Doug Anderson,  PERA executive director.  PERA is the largest pension plan in the state.  It is expected to be fully funded by 2037.





Bernie Burhnam, EM VP, spoke next.  She talked about the UNITY Conference which had just been held, and the need to flip the Senate.  She also spoke about the constitutionl amendment to guarantee a “quality education”.


 Rep. Shelly Christensen spoke next.  She is a former English teacher serving her first term. She serves on the Policy committee.  She spoke abut the value of the whole community in schools, and how essential paras are.





Jodee Buhr, EM lobbyist was next on the agenda.  She reviewed what happened last year, and that this is a short session, to be done by March 18.  All 201 legislators are up for election.  The budget forecast is due soon, and is expected to increase.

Steve Simon, Secretary of State was our guest speaker.  He discussed the caucuses and the first time presidential primary, and having to choose which ballot you want, Democrat or Republican, in order to vote.  He also spoke about trying to change the law, to keep the data more private.



After lunch, the next speaker was Kristine Sundberg, Elder Voice executive director. She discussed the new law changes, and pushing for adequate staffing and compensation.  She stated that the government needs to step up and pay better to get better care, with the statement that” Better care is in zoos and tougher regulations than for humans.

  Megan Boldt,  EM communications specialist was up next.  She talked about messaging, and watching for “bots” and “trolls”, and how to spot them and report them, and how they are being used to divide people and decrease support for collaboration.









Kaye Peters, EM-Retired PAC board member came with the new initiative for Unity that was introduced at the Unity Conference.  United for full funding for schools, and welcoming schools for everyone.




John Lipke, was the last presenter. He talked about raising money for the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education.  He is in the process of trying to get a site set up, so that members can donate online and specify that the contributions be directed to Minnesota’s delegation goals.

The meeting closed out with drawings for door prizes.