This week has been a busy week. The Senate concurred with the Tort Reform bill passed by the House and those four bills and were unfortunately vetoed by Governor Dayton Friday.
A review of these bills can be found here:
• Senate File 530 lowers the prejudgment interest rate on awards and judgments from the current (and elevated) 10% flat rate to a market-driven rate with a floor of four percent.
• Senate File 149 enacts class action lawsuit reforms, including the authorizing an appeal of right for the certification of a class action before expensive discovery costs are incurred. It also increases the conciliation court jurisdictional limit from $7,500 to $10,000 and raises the cap for consumer credit claims from $4,000 to $5,000.
• Senate File 373 shortens Minnesota's general statute of limitations from six years (currently the longest in the country) to four years.
• Senate File 429 requires courts to consider the reasonableness of attorney fees in relation to the amount of damages awarded, and the amount of damages sought compared to the amount of damages awarded.
The “Last In First Out” education reform bill was heard in the House Education Reform Committee on Thursday. This bill would allow a school board and the exclusive representative of the teachers to negotiate a plan to base unrequested leave of absence, discharge, and demotion decisions on teachers' subject matter licensure fields, their effectiveness, and their seniority.
Alternatively, this would allow a majority of school board members to decide to implement such a plan. This bill would make this plan mandatory for all school districts beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.
We have gotten off to a great start with the 2012 session, and we are working on many reforms that are long overdue in Minnesota. We are working to give Minnesota job creators the tools they need to grow and stay in Minnesota. Students deserve the best and we are committed to closing the achievement gap this year.
To learn more about the reforms being introduced this year, please visit our webpage www.reform2.mn