For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update from the Capitol
In this Issue:
New August 1 Laws
While many of the funding provisions in budget bills took effect on July 1, several policy provisions take effect August 1. Highlights of new laws that take effect August 1, 2017 include:
You can learn more about the laws that take effect in August in a press release put together by House Public Information here.
Omnibus Bills Continued
Last week I shared details about the major budget bills that passed earlier this year. This week I will talk about agriculture and education.
The Agriculture omnibus bill signed into law this year advocates for our farmers and supports Minnesota’s agricultural community.
Highlights in the bill include additional funding for value-added agriculture initiative grants, rapid response plant pest and pathogens, a dedicated Pollinator Habitat and Research account, and funding for agricultural emergencies like Avian Flu. What’s more, we also continued to support key agriculture priorities including youth development, education, farm safety and research.
Agriculture is a significant and vital part of our state’s economy, and it’s important to help preserve and grow our state’s agricultural heritage when crafting a two-year budget.
Following last biennium’s historic investments in our students and schools, we invested another $1.35 billion in new funding this session for education, spending a total of approximately $18.8 billion.
Tied in with additional funding that put more money in every classroom, we also implemented a number of meaningful reforms to improve student learning and tackle our state’s teacher shortage. One key reform was the creation of a new Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board to replace the troubled Board of Teaching following a critical report by the nonpartisan Legislative Auditor.
We also continued Republican-led efforts to strengthen teacher recruitment and retention, funding programs like Grow Your Own, alternative teacher preparation and Agriculture Educator Grants. Finally, we repealed the flawed “last in, first out” default in state statute, allowing for more than just seniority to be taken into account when making difficult staff retention decisions.
In all, as we continue to work to close the achievement gap and ensure every child has access to a world-class education, this year’s Education omnibus bill was a positive step forward that puts Minnesota kids first.
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-grand-opening/
The CROSS Community Players will be performing Rodgers and Hammerstein's State Fair. A fun musical for all ages, State Fair tells the story of the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of excitement at the Iowa State Fair. Upcoming performances are July 29 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and July 30 at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are priced from $14-$18 and can be purchased the day of the show, or online at crossplayers.org.
National Night Out
National Night Out is Tuesday, August 1, and a great opportunity to visit with neighbors and the local law enforcement who help keep our communities safe. Maple Grove came in second place nationally last year—let’s see if we can top that for 2017!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the last Peppin’s MinnTriv Question. The question was: Name the place that is the basis for Deep Valley, the town in the Betsy-Tacy stories by Minnesota author Maud Hart Lovelace. The answer was Mankato, the author’s hometown.
Congratulations to James Rouillard who had the first correct response!
Here is this week’s question: Peanuts creator Charles Schulz lived above his father’s barber shop which is now the location of what St. Paul establishment?
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 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