For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Last week was an important week with Governor Dayton’s state of the state address taking place. There were some big developments in Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Committee as well. I also look forward to an exciting week as the new redistricting maps are announced tomorrow.
State of the State
On Wednesday, Governor Dayton delivered the 2012 State of the State address. While I appreciate the Governor’s invitation to work together this session, the speech was short on vision and new ideas. I do agree, however, with his claim that creating jobs is our number one priority; we just have different ideas for how to do it.
While Governor Dayton insists on one-time stimulus spending like tax credits and bonding, I support long-term private sector growth initiatives. This year’s legislative agenda provides certainty, competitiveness and relief in taxes and regulation. It restores confidence in our economy, improves education and health care, and transforms government services.
Also on Wednesday, the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Committee heard a bill (HF2095) that would expand on last year’s environmental permitting and environmental review requirement modifications. This bill would establish a ten-year term for certain animal feedlot state disposal system permits; provide a process for the use of "permit applicant professionals;" and designate the commissioner of employment and economic development as the "environmental permits coordinator." These reforms will help to ease the strain on Minnesota businesses and improve our economic climate.
“Last In, First Out” Bill (LIFO)
In other action, on Thursday the House passed a major change to the teacher layoff process, a process that local school boards and teachers will design based on three criteria: licensure, performance and seniority. Under current state law, seniority is the lone deciding factor in the case of unrequested leave of absence, discharge, and demotion decisions. This initiative has already been passed in many other states and has earned support from parents and teachers across Minnesota.
School Trust Lands
Soon we expect to hear HF2244, a bill adjusting school trust land management. This bill would change create a legislative commission and grant authority to employ a director to oversee, manage, and administer school trust lands. Currently these lands are being underutilized by the Department of Natural Resources. Managing the income from these lands more efficiently could almost immediately increase the yearly figure by 10 percent. This bill has bi-partisan support and should prove to be a lucrative adjustment for Minnesota schools.
This Tuesday, the 5-judge redistricting panel will release the Legislative and Congressional redistricting maps for the state. We expect to receive these maps around 1:00 p.m. This information should be posted on the following website later that day: http://www.gis.leg.mn/html/redistricting.html
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts on the legislative session.
No image galleries found