For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I wanted to take an opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy Fourth of July! I hope you have wonderful holiday celebrating with friends, family, food and fireworks! Also, if you’re traveling over the weekend, please stay safe!
Here is an update from the Capitol.
In this Issue:
Article III, Section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution is entitled “Division of Powers” and reads as follows:
“The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments: legislative, executive and judicial. No person or persons belonging to or constituting one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others except in the instances expressly provided in this constitution.”
As you have read, at the end of the legislative session, Governor Dayton line item vetoed the entire appropriation for the Legislature, in effect, zeroing out the legislative branch of government.
The Legislature sued Governor Dayton over this veto, because we believe it violates the separation of powers clause in the Minnesota State Constitution and is an unconstitutional attempt to defund the people’s voice and a separate, co-equal branch of government. After such a productive legislative session with a bipartisan budget compromise, his actions were extremely disappointing.
The first oral arguments for the case were heard on Monday in Ramsey County District Court. In addition, the Court also accepted a stipulation agreement between the Legislature and Governor to fund the Legislature at 2017 levels through October 1. This is helpful news and ensures we can continue our essential work on behalf of constituents.
We are hopeful for a swift decision on this matter, and I will keep you updated as the issue moves through the legal process.
The 2017 legislative session was one of the most productive in recent memory, and a number of new laws that passed earlier this year are taking effect on July 1, which is the beginning of a new fiscal year. Below are some highlights of laws that go into effect this weekend.
July 2nd will be the first time since statehood that Minnesotans can legally purchase alcohol on Sunday from their local liquor stores. Stores can be open from 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays, and now have the opportunity to be open any day of the week they choose.
We increased the per pupil funding formula by two percent each year, putting significantly more money in every classroom across the state. We also increased funding for our state’s quality, mixed-delivery early learning programming including scholarships and school readiness aid.
Another important reform includes the overhaul of our broken teacher licensure system, as we replace the troubled Board of Teaching with a new Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board which we believe will do a better job of licensing and helping more great educators teach in Minnesota. In total, the education appropriation spends approximately $18.75 billion over the next two year biennium.
Funding higher education in our state, we provided $210 million over base funding for our state’s college and university systems. Minnesota State received $1.45 billion in appropriations and the University of Minnesota received $1.31 billion for the biennium. We also froze tuition at two and four-year Minnesota State campuses for the 2018-19 school year.
House Republicans strived to check state government growth, focus on funding its essential functions and eliminate waste. In the State Government finance law, we funded state agencies, and also focused on veterans, expanding the Minnesota GI bill to help veterans and active military with postsecondary education benefits, on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
Funding our state’s road and bridge infrastructure was another top priority for House Republicans this session, and the transportation bill signed into law makes the largest investment in road and bridge infrastructure in state history without a gas tax increase. In total, the law appropriates $6.5 billion toward our transportation system, and includes additional funding from transportation-related revenues the state already collects in the General Fund.
You can learn more about the new laws taking effect in a press release published by House Public Information Services here. You can also search new 2017 laws here. Several provisions in legislation signed into law that do not include appropriations will go into effect on August 1, and I will share more on that in a future e-mail update.
Capitol Grand Opening
After four years and more than $300 million in restorations, the Minnesota State Capitol is now open to the public.
To commemorate this special occasion and to invite Minnesotans back to the People’s House, there will be an official Grand Opening Celebration held August 11-13. The celebration will have something for everyone – fireworks, concerts, demonstrations by the artisans that worked on the restoration, behind the scenes tours, and much more. With featured events to entertain Minnesotans of all ages and from all corners of the state, the Grand Opening weekend will be educational, interactive and a lot of fun! Most of the events are free, or offered at a very low cost.
Please mark your calendars and plan to celebrate the People’s House this summer!
For detailed information on the weekend, please visit this website: https://mn.gov/admin/capitol-restoration/grand-opening/
Thank you to everyone who participated in the last Peppin’s MinnTriv Question. The question was: The first can of this famous Minnesota-made product came off the production line in 1937. The answer was SPAM.
Congratulations to Joan Burkett from Dayton who had the first correct response!
Here is this week’s question: Who was the first founding father to sign the Declaration of Independence?
Respond to this question and you could be featured in the next e-mail 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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