My representative, King Banaian, was named one of the elite freshman legislators the past 2 years. King issued this statement in response:
ST. PAUL—State Rep. King Banaian, R-St. Cloud, recently was named to a list of the Top 10 “Best of the Freshman Legislators,” as compiled by the Politics in Minnesota publication.
Banaian entered the Legislature in 2011 as one of 60 freshmen (36 representatives and 24 senators), one of the largest freshman classes since 1970.
“I am honored by this recognition,” said Banaian, a professor at St. Cloud State University. “It is humbling to see things I’ve worked on at the Capitol produce results. I am pleased to share my perspective as an economist to put Minnesota on a more sustainable course.”
Banaian remains influential in improving the state’s budgeting process. He played an integral role in establishing the Sunset Commission to bring greater efficiency to state operations and make better use of revenue. Banaian also successfully authored a bill which promotes financial literacy, helping people in poverty achieve financial stability.
According to Politics in Minnesota, the Top 10 list is based on facts that are compiled from publicly available data and subjective input from Capitol insiders.
PIM’s Best of the Freshman Legislators list
1. Rep. Kurt Daudt, R, Crown-Stanford Township
2. Sen. Michelle Benson, R, Ham Lake
3. Rep. Carly Melin, D, Hibbing
4. Sen. Ted Daley, R, Eagan
5. Rep. Dan Fabian, R, Roseau
6. Rep. Deb Kiel, R, Crookston
7. Sen. John Pederson, R, St. Cloud
8. Rep. King Banaian, R, St. Cloud
9. Sen. Roger Reinert, D, Duluth
10. Sen. Kari Dziedzic, D, Minneapolis
King is being modest in the sense that he didn’t mention his bill to lower the price of textbooks for students. That legislation was signed into law by Gov. Dayton.
One of the important provisions in HF2213 is the creation of the MnSCU Textbook Task Force, which contains this important language:
The board of trustees shall establish a task force to study methods that result in lower textbook costs for students. The task force must examine and evaluate the effectiveness of existing state and federal textbook legislation that increases the amount of information on textbooks provided to faculty, bookstores, and students and limits bundling of textbooks and course materials, including how this legislation has impacted textbook costs for students. The task force must also explore alternative textbook delivery methods, including a cross-campus shared delivery system for textbooks, the expansion of electronic text books with an assessment of effective methods for delivering e-books to students, and other technology-based, innovative, or best practices methods to bring real cost-savings to students.
This isn’t like the infamous blue ribbon commissions of the past. This task force is given specific instructions on what they’re instructed to do. The words shall or must are used 3 times in that section of the legislation, each time in assigning the task force an important responsibility.
The winners are the students and/or parents in the form of less expensive textbooks. It essentially forces universities to make things less expensive for their students.
King’s impact in the legislature has been significant. He’s definitely one of the freshman who hit the ground running in 2011.
Comments welcome at Let Freedom Ring.