For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
It's been another busy week at the Capitol. Only in Minnesota can we start the week with two feet of snow and finish near the 60's! Go enjoy the fantastic Spring weather this weekend at one or more of the great community events at the end of this update!
Omnibus Bills Coming Together
The supplemental budget bills are all coming together in the various committees as we have our third committee deadline today. I am very excited to not only see some of my key proposals included but also so many other important ones that will make our students safer in the Education Omnibus bill:
School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.
School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids.
Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.
Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.
School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff.
There is also the inclusion of a special education working group in the bill. The group will be made up of relevant stakeholders and requires the working group to submit a report on findings and recommendations to the Education Committees. We've heard from our schools that more needs to be done in the realm of special education and this group will look to find out what is working and how we can improve outcomes across the state.
My colleagues and I also completed the committee work on the Legacy Finance Omnibus bill this week and I will share more details on that bill when it comes to the full House for a vote.
I had one bill hearing this week on my bill, HF 3627. This bill would update the Homeless Youth Report to the legislature on the status of youth homelessness in Minnesota. The last report was in 2007 and I believe it is important to update the report to see how state funds are being used, where the gaps in services are, and how we can effectively continue to work toward ending youth homelessness in Minnesota. This bill was heard in the Health and Human Services (HHS) Finance Committee on Monday, April 16th, and was laid over for possible inclusion in the HHS Omnibus bill.
Repaying Deputy Registrars
On Thursday, the House almost unanimously passed a bill to provide $9 million of aid to deputy registrars to help offset the numerous costs incurred following the rollout of the state’s vehicle licensing system, MNLARS. Through no fault of their own, deputy registrars across the state were having to deal with MNLARS causing delays, slow processing times, and a need to staff for overtime work.
Those in charge of MNLARS need to recognize their failure to put out a working system is costing Minnesota registrars and citizens dearly. I’m glad members of both parties voted to pass this legislation to help ease some of the pain experienced by our hardworking registrars and I look forward to the Senate taking action soon.
Specifically, in our community, the Apple Valley deputy registrar will receive $121,661 and the one in Rosemount will receive $50,014 in aid.
Former Speaker Thissen Retires
Former DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen has retired from the Minnesota House of Representatives after being appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Dayton this week. I wish Justice Thissen the best in this next season of his service to the state of Minnesota! You can watch his farewell speech here.
Vote for the Minnesota Zoo!
Meals on Wheels
Last Sunday, April 15th, the Northwest Dakota County Meals on Wheels had their first ever fundraiser. This organization serves homebound seniors in Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville, and Savage, and looks to our local community for support. In 2017, over 11,000 meals were served by this great group.
Rep. Wills at the Meals on Wheels fundraiser at the Apple Valley American Legion
Meetings this Week
Rep. Wills visited St. Joseph Catholic School in Rosemount to learn about the school and share what she is working on as a legislator at the Capitol.
Rep. Wills met with the Apple Valley Chamber NextLeaders who were visiting the Capitol to learn about our state government.
Rep. Wills met with several correctional officers and staff to discuss the pension reform bill and correctional staffing issues.
Rep. Wills met with several constituents from Moms Demand Action to discuss gun violence prevention efforts.
Rosemount Band Garage Sale
The Rosemount High School Band collected gently used goods for their Mega Garage Sale taking place today, Friday, April 20th, 4-8 PM and Saturday, April 21st, 7 AM to 4 PM, in the Rosemount High School Student Center.
Rosemount Legion Pancake Breakfast
Rosemount American Legion Post 65 is hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 9:00 AM to Noon tomorrow, Saturday, April 21st. It's $7.00 to attend, call 651-423-3380 for more information.
Apple Valley Home & Garden Expo
Tomorrow, Saturday, April 21st, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the 2018 Apple Valley Home & Garden Expo will take place at Eastview High School. I will be volunteering as a greeter from 10-11 AM and look forward to seeing everyone there!
Rosemount State of the City Address
Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste will give his State of the City Address on Thursday, April 26th, at 7:30 AM at the Rosemount Community Center. On a personal note, I would like to pass along my deepest condolences to Mayor Droste on the recent passing of his dear wife, Carol. My thoughts and prayers are with Mayor Droste and his loved ones during this difficult time.
District 196 Legislative Advisory Council Openings
The District 196 Legislative Advisory Council has openings for citizens and is accepting applications through May 11th for four at-large citizen positions. The purpose of the Legislative Advisory Council is to increase citizen participation in the legislative process and how they impact District 196. The council provides input on and advocate for the district's legislative priorities. Applications are available at www.District196.org or by calling 651-423-7775.
Keep in Touch
Thank you to so many of you who have contacted my office so far this Session! I receive hundreds of emails weekly and value all of your feedback. Thank you also for your patience as I work to respond to each of you.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your comments, questions, and concerns. Email me anytime at email@example.com or call 651-296-4306. Stay up to date with what I am up to at the legislature and around our community by following my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills.
Have a great weekend!
State Representative District 57B
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