For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update on recent actions and notable events happening at the Capitol.
HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS UPDATE:
Legislative Auditor Report on Minnesota Sports Facility Authority
Earlier this week, the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released their findings and recommendations regarding the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority’s (MSFA) use of suites at the Minnesota Vikings’ Stadium.
First, they found that the MSFA commissioners and executive director violated core ethical principles by providing free tickets to family members and friends. They also rejected a claim by MSFA that they need use of two suites rather than one. Finally, the MSFA failed to comply with state law by not maintaining a record of who received tickets, including acquaintances and politicians, to the stadium suites.
With those findings, the OLA recommended that the state legislature exercise a stronger control over the Authority moving forward, specifically regarding complimentary tickets to stadium events. House Republicans are already moving toward that goal this session, and have spearheaded legislation that will reform the MSFA and increase transparency and accountability to the people of Minnesota.
On Wednesday the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee approved my MNvest program “update” bill, sending it to the general register for consideration by the full House. The bill makes technical changes to MNvest , a new capital formation program I authored last session which allows small businesses to utilize the concept of crowd funding to find investors through approved on-line sites known as portals.
The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new federal regulations, and this bill provides clarifying technical changes to conform MNvest to those federal requirements.
MNvest is a great tool to help start-ups raise capital, and provides an opportunity for the average Minnesotan to invest in local businesses and receive an equity stake in the business they choose to support.
One Year Anniversary of Prize Linked Savings
I was honored to participate in a press conference organized by the Minnesota Credit Union Network celebrating one year of operations of WinCentive savings programs operated by Minnesota credit unions. Last year, I authored the bill which allowed these incentive programs to be legally operated by credit unions and banks in Minnesota.
The concept is simple—customers can opt to open savings accounts that are part of a prize linked savings program. In these programs, a customer placing a designated minimum amount into their savings account each month is entered into a drawing. Customers can win $100, $500, $1000 or more for doing something that is already good for their financial future—saving money. The first year’s grand prize winner of $5000 was at the press event and told her story of how she learned about the program and was driven to save even more by the prospect of a cash prize. As a long-time advocate of policies to increase the financial literacy of students and Minnesota consumers, I am pleased the prize linked savings program is off to a great start and has helped Minnesotans save millions of dollars for higher education, a new car, their own home, or any number of unexpected expenses that can occur in daily life.
You can see a recent WCCO Story covering this program here.
Town Hall Recap and Constituent Meetings
Great turnout at the Eden Prairie town hall meeting on Saturday.
Volunteer firefighter Aaron Casper, EP Fire Chief George Esbensen, and EP resident and St. Louis Park Fire Chief Steve Koering stopped to visit with me during their day at the Capitol.
With Cindy Kraemer who was in Saint Paul for CPA Day at the Capitol.
Local Credit Union representatives, including two Eden Prairie High School seniors who help operate the “Perch” credit union at EPHS, visited with me during the MN Credit Union Network’s Day on the Hill.
It has been wonderful to have the opportunity to meet with many constituents and groups from Eden Prairie advocating for issues important to our community in the weeks since the legislative session started.
Last Saturday there was a great turnout for our town hall meeting. I appreciate everyone who came out to share their thoughts and ideas with me about their priorities for this session. Your input was invaluable, and we covered a number of key topics including education funding, tax relief and transportation improvements. If you were unable to make the meeting but want to share your thoughts with me, please feel free to email or call my office. I am here to serve you!
In addition, I spoke to the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and had an excellent dialogue with our local small business leaders about their priorities at the Capitol. I also met with the 494 Corridor Commission and discussed ways we can reduce congestion, as well as make needed improvements to the 494/35W interchange in the west metro.
If I can be of assistance to you with a state government matter, please feel free to contact me. I always welcome your views, questions and suggestions on issues of interest or concern. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call my office at 651-296-7449. I look forward to hearing from you!
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