The focus this week is on finishing up committee work so that bills are prepared for full votes in the House. Issues being closely watched by many include:
SAFETY IN OUR SCHOOLS
Safety issues in schools has become a No. 1 concern of the House Education Finance committee since a series of assaults and discipline failures has surfaced in the St. Paul Schools. House legislation is aimed at putting teachers back in charge of the classroom and helping protect staff from physical assault. Notable provisions of the bills include:
Students and educators alike deserve a safe, positive environment and these measures would help ensure that is the case. This legislation will give educators the authority they need to keep control of their classroom, as well as help legislators and the Minnesota Department of Education gather information about the prevalence of student assault cases on staff across the state.
SEEKING MNSURE COMMENTS
A website has been launched to gather comments and feedback from Minnesota families, taxpayers and small-business owners regarding the MNsure health insurance exchange.
Minnesotans recently testified before a House committee and expressed concerns over the difficulties they have faced with MNsure. One of the most recent issues to surface pertains to a gross failure to meet the deadline for MNsure to provide enrollees with 1095-A forms necessary for filing their taxes. Some citizens were still waiting months after the Feb. 1 deadline.
House legislation has been introduced that would have MNsure compensate people $10 for each day the form was late after Feb. 1. That rate would increase to $50 per day if the tax deadline passes and they still haven't received their forms.
The new website can be found at this link.
BILLS IN THE PROCESS
A number of bills I have personally authored to address other issues remain in the committee process. Here is a quick rundown, including some with local interest:
TAX RELIEF, ROADS AND BRIDGES
Other topics such as providing tax relief and a establishing comprehensive transportation plan focusing on roads and bridges remain top priorities for House Republicans this session. Look for those issues to come to the forefront as the session progresses.
Please continue providing correspondence on these and other issues we face this session. And, if you haven't done so already, your participation in my legislative survey would be greatly appreciated. It is at this link.