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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lisa Demuth (R)

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Legislative update

Monday, June 29, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings as we celebrate Independence Day this week. Please be safe, especially with quite warm temperatures in the forecast. We all should do our best to keep an eye on those who may be vulnerable to excessive heat … including pets.

As for legislative news, thank you to everyone who attended an outdoor town hall meeting I co-hosted with Sen. Jeff Howe in Fair Haven Township Thursday. Two main messages we heard pertained to ending the governor’s executive powers and that kids should be allowed to return to school in the fall because distance learning wasn’t a good experience both educationally and socially.

Thanks again to everyone who showed up for the meeting and did their part to spread out so we could have a good discussion in a safe outdoor setting.

Here is a quick rundown of some other newsworthy notes:

Letters to the governor

I joined Sen. Howe and fellow House member Rep. Tim O’Driscoll in sending a letter to the governor on June 11, expressing strong concerns over the lack of protection of public property that recently was displayed on Capitol grounds. 

The governor failed to respond to that letter, so we followed up with another letter to him on June 25. The more recent letter reads, in part:

“It has been fifteen days since public property on the state capitol complex was destroyed with media and law enforcement present. And it has been fifteen days without an arrest of the perpetrators and without an explanation to legislators from you or Commissioner Harrington on the lack of intervention by the state. … As we stated in our June 11 letter, plans to destroy this piece of public property were known well in advance and were addressed during your press conference prior to the act, including the implication on live TV that the State Patrol would protect the statue and enforce laws against destruction of public property.”

It would be good for the governor to respond to our letters because our constituents – and Minnesotans in general – deserve answers for how this was allowed to happen and assurance similar destruction to public property will not be allowed to happen in the future.

I will pass along any correspondence we receive from the governor related to this issue.

CARES Act funding

I noted in last week’s message that a CARES Act bill to disperse $841 million in federal relief for counties, cities and townships was derailed during a recent special session after a bipartisan agreement reached by all four legislative caucuses was broken. It is fortunate the governor came around on this so local governments will get the relief they need, even if it was unnecessarily delayed.

Stearns County is scheduled to receive $19,361,975 in CARES Act funding and here is a look at dollar amounts for other jurisdictions in House District 13A:

Cities

  • Avon             $123,483
  • Cold Spring   $316,504
  • Kimball          $59,896
  • Paynesville    $189,330
  • Richmond      $111,353
  • Rockville        $193,624
  • St. Joseph      $551,340

Townships

  • Avon              $58,325
  • Collegeville    $85,650
  • Eden Lake     $39,475
  • Fair Haven     $38,775
  • Luxemburg     $16,475
  • Lynden            $50,300
  • Maine Prairie  $48,675
  • Munson           $38,925
  • Paynesville      $36,925
  • St. Joseph       $26,475
  • Wakefield        $72,000
  • Zion                 $8,700

Another special session?

A second special session of the summer may soon be called, especially if the governor is seeking to extend his emergency powers by another 30 days since they expire July 12. I would prefer restoring balance and having the Legislature involved in the decision-making process instead of allowing his unilateral rule to continue.

Deadline approaching for Frontier claims

July 20 is the deadline for current or former Frontier Communication customers who are eligible to receive rebates and bill credits for inadequate service to file a claim.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered rebates and bill credits to Frontier customers to compensate them for service quality and reliability problems. The Minnesota Department of Commerce indicates information regarding the settlement and claims for refunds or credits was distributed in Frontier bills and by direct mail last April.

Applications for refund or bill credit are available online at this link.

Have a great holiday and, as always, let me know how I can help.

Sincerely,

Lisa

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