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State Representative Jenifer Loon

449 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7449

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: Mar 13 2015 9:40AM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Legislative Update and Survey from Rep. Jenifer Loon


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Here is an update from the Capitol.

HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS UPDATE:

  • 2015 Survey Ready for Your Input
  • House File 2 Passes
  • MNvest Bill Advances
  • Dependent Care Tax Credit Legislation
  • Prize Linked Savings Bill
  • Visit to Cedar Ridge Elementary

Survey

Your input is valuable, and I want to know your thoughts about top issues being debated at the Capitol this session.  Please take a moment to complete my short legislative survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Loon2015

Be sure to include your personal comments on these or other issues that are important to you—they are especially helpful. I hope you will encourage your friends and neighbors in District 48B to participate as well!

House File 2 Passes

Last Thursday, the House passed House File 2, a bill I authored that will bring meaningful education reform to Minnesota. It focuses on improving student achievement by keeping our most effective teachers in the classroom.  The bill also helps to alleviate teacher shortages in practice areas such as math, science and special education and increase the number of qualified teacher candidates in Minnesota by requiring the Board of Teaching to develop regulations that recognize the experience and effectiveness of teachers licensed in other states.  These regulations must also provide a transparent and streamlined process for licensing teachers who meet our high standards but were trained through an alternative teacher preparation program.

The most significant reform in this bill requires that teacher performance be considered, along with seniority and other locally negotiated factors, when making staff retention decisions. Currently, seniority is the only measure that counts in layoff decisions unless other elements are negotiated by the local union and school district.

In addition, the bill empowers school districts to tap local experts for vocational, technical and career education programs. It also encourages reciprocity agreements with other states if their teacher preparation standards are similar to Minnesota’s.

Every child in Minnesota deserves a world-class education and the common sense reforms in House File 2 will help accomplish this goal. The bill was heard in the Senate Education Committee yesterday, and I am hopeful it will end up on Governor Dayton's desk for signature this session.

The Star Tribune came out in strong support of House File 2 over the weekend, and you can read their editorial here.

MNvest Bill Advances

Last week in the Commerce Committee, my bill House File 328 was passed and sent to the Government Operations Committee.

This legislation allows people to invest online in small business startups through equity crowdfunding. Similar bills passed in other states have allowed people to invest in businesses at the ground level, encouraging entrepreneurial success and innovation.

I am pleased this bipartisan proposal is advancing this session because equity crowdfunding can be an effective capital formation tool for small business investment and growth in Minnesota. You can read more about MNvest here.

Dependent Care Tax Credit Legislation

Earlier this week, my bipartisan bill, House File 1064 received a hearing in the Taxes Committee. If signed into law, it would increase the state dependent care tax credit from $720 to $1050 for one dependent, and from $1440 to $2100 for two or more dependents, and more closely mirror the federal credit, beginning the phase out of the credit for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes over $43,000. Currently, the state credit phases out for household incomes over $25,750.

Minnesota has one of the highest day care costs in the nation, and this bill is about helping hardworking parents who are struggling to afford child care expenses so they can work.  

Prize Linked Savings Bill

On Wednesday the Commerce Committee favorably reviewed another bipartisan bill I authored, House File 1127, and sent it on to the General Register for consideration and vote by the full House.

This bill allows banks and credit unions to conduct raffles for their customers who deposit money into savings accounts, making them eligible for a prize drawing.  Customers’ names can be entered multiple times per month, once for each savings deposit, up to a limited number per month as established by the bank or credit union.  A recent change in federal law makes savings promotion raffles legal for both banks and credit unions.  My bill to authorize prize-linked savings in Minnesota is a great incentive for people to grow their savings, offering them a chance to win prizes for making a smart financial choice to save for their future needs. 

Visit to Cedar Ridge Elementary School

I recently had the opportunity to meet with several students and teachers at Cedar Ridge Elementary School.  While there I read to some third graders, played a Minnesota trivia game with a class of 5th graders (and barely kept up!) and learned how kindergarteners are learning about patterns and coding through activities on their iPads, as well as observed some kindergarten students practicing their “yoga calm” techniques. 

A special thank you to Principal Ann Swanson for showing me all the great learning going on at Cedar Ridge.  I am very proud to represent the awesome students and teachers that make up our Eden Prairie Schools!

Please continue to send me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. I can be reached at rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn or 651-296-7449. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,


Jenifer Loon

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn