For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
We've had another busy week in Saint Paul. A number of bills have passed off the House Floor and many more are currently in Conference Committees to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions. And today, May 11th, is Minnesota Statehood Day! Today we celebrate the 160th birthday of our great state, which became the 32nd state in the union in 1858.
DWI Bill Passes House
My bill, House File 2766, which had been amended into HF 3479 during the committee process, was passed in the House on Thursday, May 10th, after first passing the Senate last week. As a procedural motion, we amended the House language of HF 3479 into Senate File 2578 prior to taking the final vote. I spoke on the floor about the importance of the DWI bill here.
The bill changes the terminology from "hazardous substances" using the OSHA list as the definition, to "intoxicating substances" with a new definition of “a drug or chemical … that when introduced into the human body impairs the central nervous system or impairs the human audio, visual or mental processes.” The bill does not include alcohol or controlled substances, which have their own definitions in a different section of state law.
HF 2766 is supported by the Minnesota DWI Task Force, Minnesotans for Safe Driving, the Minnesota State Patrol Troopers Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and many other stakeholder groups.
You can read the non-partisan House Information Services story on my bill here. I am proud to chief author this bill to improve public safety on our roads in Minnesota.
Teacher Appreciation Week
It's Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you to all of the amazing teachers who give their all to educate and inspire our students in Minnesota!
Nurses Appreciation Week
It's also Nurses Appreciation Week! Like teachers, nurses play such an important role in our lives and are there to aid and comfort many during difficult times. Thank you for all you do!
Minnesota Zoo Funding in Bonding Bill
Last Wednesday, the House unveiled an $825 million Bonding Bill that focuses heavily on infrastructure needs in our state. More than two-thirds of the funding is dedicated toward “brick-and-mortar” projects, including nearly $364 million for asset preservation of state-owned buildings, $120 million for road and transportation infrastructure, and $153 million for water and conservation projects.
Included in the bill is asset preservation funding for the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. This funding is important to keep the Minnesota Zoo a world-class institution and I am glad to carry the funding request for this treasure right here in our community.
For a complete look at all of the projects in the Bonding Bill, go here. What are your thoughts on the Bonding Bill?
As the State Representatives for Apple Valley, Rep. Wills and Rep. Maye Quade presented a House Resolution honoring the 40th Birthday of the Minnesota Zoo to Director John Frawley.
Constitutional Amendment for Roads and Bridges
This week in the Taxes Committee, which I serve on, and the Ways and Means Committee, House File 4437 was heard. This bill would propose a constitutional amendment to be added to the 2018 ballot. The amendment would dedicate sales tax revenue from the sale of motor vehicle repair and replacement parts to state and local roads and bridges.
Now that HF 4437 has been heard in the Ways and Means Committee, it can be taken up on the House floor for a vote. What do you think of this idea? Please let me know your thoughts on this bill.
Also heard in the Ways and Means Committee this week was a bill to ban using handheld devices while driving. The bill attempts to cut down on distracted driving by outlawing the use of a handheld device while driving. Drivers would still be able to use hands-free options while driving but holding a phone in hand would no longer be permitted. A number of states already do this and if this bill passes and is signed into law by Governor Dayton, Minnesota would become another.
What do you think of this proposal? Please send me your thoughts on whether you think this should become law or not.
REAL ID News
This week, Minnesota has received federal assurance that traditional driver's licenses will be sufficient to board domestic flights until October 1, 2020. It's great news that Minnesotans will continue to be able to board airplanes until then. Thanks to language spearheaded by House Republicans, the Dayton Administration is required by law to seek an extension once it becomes available. Minnesotans will continue to be able to travel without fear of their normal IDs not working for the next few years as the DMV works to fully implement REAL ID here in Minnesota. This is not an "overnight" process due to the phase-in approach being taken so that Minnesotans can get a REAL ID when they would normally renew their driver's license. REAL IDs are estimated to be available beginning in October of this year.
Meetings this Week
Rep. Wills visited District 196 Greenleaf Elementary School to chat with Principal Michelle deKam-Palmieri about the great work being done by students and teachers at the school.
Rep. Wills attended the Patriotic Concert at First Baptist School in Rosemount on Tuesday where they honored our country and our military.
Rep. Wills and Rep. Maye Quade toured the Uponor facility in Apple Valley to see recent expansions resulting in 355 new jobs in the community.
Rep. Wills attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Rosemount residents Alex Henry and Anthony Owens.
IN OUR COMMUNITY:
Rosemount City-Wide Garage Sale
Next week is the Rosemount City-wide Garage Sale. It will take place from Thursday, May 17th, through Friday, May 19th. Click here for details.
Minnesota Zoo's 40th Birthday
With the Minnesota Zoo turning 40, it's time for a birthday party! It's next weekend, Friday, May 19th, and Saturday, May 20th, and there will be several special activities to celebrate the Zoo's birthday. Click here for details.
Apple Valley State of the City
Find out what is happening in Apple Valley along with plans for the future with Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland's State of the City address. It will take place on Wednesday, May 23rd, with a networking event beginning at 11:30 and lunch served at noon. It will take place at Bogart's Entertainment Center, 14917 Garrett Ave in Apple Valley, and cost $20 per person. RSVP is required, which you can do by emailing email@example.com with "State of the City RSVP" in the subject line.
Help create a Market Fest
The City of Rosemount is looking for residents who are interested in serving on an informal Market Fest Committee. The Committee will work to bring a variety of vendors to a new weekend outdoor market in Rosemount. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Moms out there!
State Representative District 57B
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