Go Leili. It's your birthday. We're gonna party like it's the first week of session and

Happy birthday to me! I turn 34 today which, according to this very scientific survey is the official age at which you're too old for taking selfies. But, since I've never met a rule I didn't like to break (excepting those of the lawyer's board, the campaign finance board, and the IRS), here you go:

Heck yea I'm wearing white after Labor Day.

Speaking of the IRS, I feel like I should be able to take a deduction for Botox because not being able to scowl is going to very important for my work at legislature this year. And, with that, here's your Five for Friday all about the first week of the legislative session:

1. For the first time in 25 years, the MN Senate has not one but two medical doctors among its ranks. This article gets into the potential advantages of that with brewing negotiation around healthcare (we'll get to that). So far, I've had the pleasure of meeting one of the docs, Senator Matt Klein who also brings a wealth of knowledge about the public health impacts of environmental pollution.

2. Sounds like the legislature is getting sick of hearing "oops, sorry" from the University of Minnesota. The latest athletics scandal involving the sexual assault of a student by ten football players and the resulting firing of coach Tracy Claeys is now jeopardizing the U's funding. This article lays it out well, though it's a bit unclear to me whether the referenced "grumbling" by legislators is over Claeys being fired or having been hired in the first place.

3. I'm so excited to be working with and on behalf of Friends of the Mississippi River this session. The environmental advocacy community has a tough fight ahead of us, but we're united in relentlessly defending against legislative rollbacks of environmental protections. Here's an inspiring post from the Minnesota Environmental Partnership on our shared goals for the session.

4. St. Paul may be the next Minnesota city to implement a local ban benefiting the environment. They are poised to prohibit restaurants from using non-recyclable food packaging. Here's a rundown of their plans and a landscape of what other cities have done in the same vein. No doubt they may all soon face a serious preemption battle.

5. We're starting to get really excited about the Virtual Policy Forum we're producing for this year's Robotics Alley conference! We're especially looking forward to the 1.5 hour long Legislator Panel featuring members of the MN House and Senate. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed next week as we begin rolling out the line up. You can learn more (and register!) here [NB: I just realized that the site isn't optimized. for mobile devices--I'll fix it over the weekend. I'm taking the rest of the night off!]

Happy weekend!

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