For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update from the Capitol.
In this Issue:
Rogers Art Students Bring Home the Gold!
Congratulations to Rogers High School Students Kendra Bolster and Allie Roberts who both recently won Gold Medals in the 2017 National Scholastic Art and Writing Award contest. This program, founded in 1923, judges each entry on originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice. Kendra’s pastel drawing and Allie’s micron pen drawing were selected from more than 330,000 entries nationwide. Kendra and Allie have been invited to an awards celebration in New York City this June. Congratulations Kendra and Allie!
We continue to work long hours debating the budget at the Capitol. Here are the bills we passed this week:
The Public Safety bill puts the safety of Minnesotans first, and ensures law enforcement has the tools they need to operate and keep criminals off the street. Highlights in the bill include increased penalties for those who illegally protest on highways; creating stronger penalties and longer supervision for convicted sexual predators; and providing new revenue to address domestic violence prevention and stop terrorist recruitment.
College affordability and accessibility was the focus of our Higher Education Omnibus bill. The bill freezes and reduces tuition at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. It also funds student debt counseling to help people from defaulting on their student loans, and provides new opportunities for students with learning differences to access higher education.
In 2008, Minnesotans voted to dedicate an increased sales tax that goes into four different funds: outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage. The Legacy bill that passed the House this week focuses on those areas, including an over $100 million investment to restore and protect our water, some of which will help counties develop buffer strips to separate actively farmed acreage from lakes, rivers and streams.
State Government Finance
The State Government Finance bill includes a number of reforms to increase transparency, limit government growth and protect funding for veterans programs. The bill stops welfare for politicians by ending the campaign public subsidy program, caps political appointee severance pay to highly-compensated employees, limits government employee growth within the executive branch, and increases government accountability to the people of Minnesota.
Job Growth and Energy Affordability
This omnibus bill focuses on lowering energy costs for Minnesota consumers by streamlining the regulation process for energy providers, and by reinvesting funding from ineffective programs into clean energy programs that benefit consumers statewide. Additionally, the bill also works to return $700 million in unclaimed property to Minnesotans, improves vocational training for students wanting to work in the trades, and funds job training for veterans entering back into the civilian workforce.
Agriculture is a key industry in our state, and the Agriculture Finance bill works to address the needs of farmers and the agriculture community. Provisions in the bill include rapid response to plant pests and pathogens, expanding and diversifying our agro-economy, and creating a dedicated Pollinator Habitat and Research Account that focuses on understanding and researching scientific-based solutions to address our dwindling pollinator populations.
Reinsurance Bill Becomes Law
A quick update on House File 5 which established a state-based reinsurance program and is estimated to reduce health care premiums on the individual market by 20 percent or more. Governor Dayton chose not to take action on the bill (either signing or vetoing), thus letting the measure become law.
House Republicans will continue to address our broken individual market and work to make coverage more accessible and affordable for Minnesotans.
The last Fish Fry of the season will take place tonight at the Church of St. Martin, 21304 Church Street in Rogers. Menu includes baked or fried fish, macaroni and cheese, baked potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, dinner rolls and cookies. Cost is $11 for adults, $6 for kids.
The spring Flea Market and Craft Fair is on Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rogers Community Room, 21201 Memorial Drive in Rogers. Stop by for an irresistible bargain and while you are there, purchase some yummy homemade baked goods and lunch!
The Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a Memorial Blood Drive at the Rogers Community Center on Saturday, April 22nd from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Contact Dale Scherber at 763-428-5163 to make an appointment. Give blood and save a life!
Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s MinnTriv Question. The question was: What Minnesota city is home to a 150 foot tall otter? The answer was Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Congratulations to Joan Burkett from Dayton for having the first correct response.
Here is this week’s question: What is the mascot of Minnesota’s largest township?
Respond to this email with your answer, and you could be featured in next week’s email update!
In order to best represent our communities, I need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time. My direct line is 651-296-7806. My email address is email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 459 State Office Building, 100 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.
Have a wonderful weekend.
**Encourage your neighbors and friends to sign up for my email updates at www.house.mn/34A