For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update with the latest news from the Capitol.
HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS UPDATE:
Working in conference committee with Senate E-12 Finance Chair Carla Nelson
Last week, the House and Senate appointed conferees and conference committees began their work on finding a compromise to budget bills. I have been appointed to the Education Finance Conference Committee, and I am working with the Senate and Governor Dayton’s administration to come to a final compromise that best serves Minnesota kids, families, schools and teachers.
The other budget conference committees meeting include Agriculture, Environment, Health and Human Services, Legacy, Public Safety, State Government Finance, Jobs, and Transportation. A conference committee focused on tax relief for Minnesotans has also been convened. I noted that Governor Dayton remarked last week that he would support a transportation package similar to the one House Republicans are advocating for which uses existing resources to fund transportation needs, even if a gas tax increase is not part of the legislation. Getting a transportation package signed into law is one of my top priorities this session, and I know Eden Prairie citizens want to see action on this vital issue this year. With four weeks remaining in the legislative session, the House, Senate and governor will have to work cooperatively to get the people’s work accomplished so this movement on the transportation issue is a positive sign.
Finally, I know many Minnesotans want Real ID legislation passed this session—and so do I. A conference committee of House and Senate members began to meet recently to work out a final agreement on this legislation which will ensure that a state-issued driver’s license can be used to visit a military base, enter a federal facility or board a domestic, commercial flight. I will keep you updated on this issue’s progress.
Advocating for a Proven, Targeted Early Learning Approach
Speaking to the press on Monday about targeting investments for early learning programs
On Monday, I was joined by parents and community advocates to talk about the importance of early learning scholarships and a targeted early education approach that best serves our state’s littlest learners and their families.
The House education omnibus bill that passed last month and is now being negotiated in conference committee makes smart investments in proven and effective early learning programs for our state’s youngest learners and their families. In addition to putting more money into every classroom, we also fund $300 million in targeted dollars that furthers our nation-leading mixed delivery system of quality early learning options. New funding for the upcoming biennium proposed in the House education bill includes $24.6 million in additional scholarship funds, a $9 million increase in school readiness funds for districts and charter schools, and $40 million to allow schools in the current voluntary pre-kindergarten pilot the flexibility to operate early education programs through enhanced school readiness funding. Our targeted approach centers upon closing the achievement gap by ensuring better outcomes for our most at-risk children and giving parents options to choose a program that works best for their child and family.
Thank you to everyone who took my 2017 Legislative Survey. I appreciate you taking the time to share your input and ideas with me.
For the 336 Eden Prairie residents who participated in the survey, you indicated that meaningful tax relief, improvements to our transportation infrastructure and addressing health care were among your top legislative priorities. We have already acted on some of these initiatives, getting premium relief and a health insurance reform and reinsurance system enacted into law, as well as passing $1.35 billion in tax relief and a comprehensive transportation package.
As we enter into final negotiations with the Senate and Governor Dayton, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at any time to share your views, or pose a question about legislative issues under consideration at the Legislature. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call my office at 651-296-7449. I look forward to hearing from you!
Here are the survey results:
Thank you again to everyone who took the time to take my survey!
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