Posted by Jeff Benson on Jan 15, 2019

President Cindy Carlson opened the meeting by reading a thank you from Irondale Choir Director Jason Etten.  Jason thanked us for our generous donation and said that the money will be used to provide a scholarship for a student to attend All-State Choir this year.


Cindy also passed around thank you cards from our Remember Niger Coalition students Charifa (5th grade) and Mamaan (4th grade).  Cindy read a letter updating us on Remember Niger and thanking us for our continuing sponsorship of Charifa and Mamaan.  At our February 26th noon meeting, Remember Niger’s executive director, Kara VanderKamp, will be here to further update us.


We have been notified that our Harvest Pack meals have arrived in Puerto Rico.  We’ll be updated when the meals have been distributed to Puerto Ricans still suffering the effects of the hurricane.


Cindy Carlson, Margaret Johnson and new member Jed Hamoud attended the District 5960 Mid-Term this past weekend and came away with lots of useful information. They highly recommend that members consider attending this meeting next year.


President-Elect Dennis Connolly let us know that the new by-laws are ready for a club vote which will occur at next noon meeting (January 22nd).  You should receive a copy of the revised by-laws by email shortly.  Many thanks to Dennis for his hard work in editing the document.


The Gold Plate Dinner planning committee met this morning.  The ticket cost per couple will be $150 this year.  You should receive an information sheet by email that will help you in your effort to sell tickets.  Our Fund-a-Cause recipient for this year will be Harvest Pack.  Mark Beisswenger is heading up the ticket sale competition.  Four teams will compete for most tickets sold and the leading ticket seller each week will receive an amazing prize.  Teams will be announced next week.


Invitations to our Club’s 40th Anniversary Celebration were handed out today.  The event will be held at the New Brighton Community Center, February 23rd from 5:30-9:30PM.  A large number of previous Rotarians will be attending to help us celebrate this milestone.  You don’t want to miss it!


Ed James read a thank you from our scholarship recipient, Taylor Seim, thanking us for our generosity and letting us know that she is attending Bethel University and has been accepted into the nursing program with plans to become a Nurse Anesthetist.


Gerry Tietz noted that he had spoken with Bev and that she is recovering in a nursing home after serious problems with an infection.  Bev welcomes phone calls in the afternoon (651-443-1702).


Cor Wilson has terminated her Rotary membership and we’re bidding her farewell at our noon meeting on January 22nd.


Happy Bucks Summary:

- Bob Barmore will be a Grandpa for the second time in August.  Congratulations, Bob and Julie!

- Dave Hoel had our exchange student, Maria Klakegg, for dinner and had a wonderful time.

- Dennis had his first experience of skiing 6” of fresh powder at Copper Mountain last week.

- Jason Miller just returned from 10 days in Florida with family prior to the beginning of tax season.


Garry Johnson and Paul Fournier share a January 17th birthday.  Garry declined the Birthday Hat but Paul wore it with style, below.


Bob Barmore introduced our speaker, Mike Hickey, from NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business).  NFIB is the voice of small business, working together with small business owners to represent their interests in Washington, D.C. and in all 50 state capitals.  Founded in 1943, it is celebrating its 75th year.  NFIB is a non-profit, non-partisan lobbying organization exclusively serving small and independent businesses and funded exclusively by voluntary contributions by member businesses.


Mike cited several of NFIB’s recent accomplishments at the Federal level:

- Supporting the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

- Supported increased estate tax exemption and increased Section 179 expensing limits.

- Defeat of the “Hillary Care” health care proposal.

- Opposed President Obama’s Waters of America administrative action.


NFIB has also been influential in the Minnesota political arena:

- Opposed dramatic change in sexual harassment that would have forced small businesses to pay the litigation cost for harassment claims.

- Successfully pushed for an increase in the estate tax exemption from 2 to 3 million dollars.

- Supported reform of eminent domain laws.

- Supported Worker’s Compensation reforms.


NFIB’s Minnesota priorities for 2019:

- Achieve or make significant progress toward conformity with 1 million dollar Federal Section 179 limit.

- Conformity (or significant progress toward conforming to) Federal estate tax exemption

- Work toward conformity with other critical tax provisions to bridge the Minnesota tax code to the new federal law.

- Oppose legislation which mandates:

    - paid family leave,

    - paid sick leave,

    - 2 week advance employee scheduling,

    - $15 statewide minimum wage,

    - Gas Tax increase


Bob and Mike are shown below.