The 2019 Legislature began its long session on January 8 and is scheduled to conclude on May 20. The Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR) has been named for 2019-2020. The House gets to name the Chair for the next two years. Representative Mary Murphy from Hermantown will probably be the Chair. She is a retired Duluth educator. I don’t anticipate any big legislative changes coming out of the LCPR but you never know what will happen when the Legislature is in session.

With a former teacher as Governor and a DFL majority in the House new money for
K-12 Education should be coming. Active educators should see some nice salary increases in the next two years. Their salaries have not kept up with inflation and the greater costs of health care have probably lowered their take home pay.

I’m sure you can remember winters worse than this one. We didn’t close school because of the temperature. We didn’t have wind chill temperatures or polarvortex’s.
The temperatures and wind chills were just as bad as today if not worse.
We missed the last polar vortex on our cruise which didn’t bother me. We’ve come back to plenty of snow, however. Last fall the winter forecast called for warmer than average temperatures and below average snowfall. El Nino was going to cause this mild winter. Have you heard anyone talking about El Nino now?

On our cruise we visited Morocco, the Canary Islands and the island of Madeira which is part of Portugal. The highlight of the cruise for me was in Madeira where we had a toboggan ride. Madeira is built on the side of a mountain. People used to ride down the street on these two seater baskets with two young men guiding the basket down the
steep hill. Riders would do their shopping and have to walk back up the hill to their home. The baskets had to be carried back up to the top by the young men. Today the men are a little older and a truck takes the baskets or toboggans back up the hill. The ride is a little scary as the road is shiny and there is cross traffic on the way down. It’s over a mile down this hill. I had seen this on CNN this past year. We enjoyed the ride.