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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Linda Runbeck (R)

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House update from Rep. Runbeck

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dear neighbor,

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 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:

  • Requiring that teachers be notified when a student with a history of violent behavior is placed in their classroom
  • Allowing teachers to remove a student from their classroom
  • Maintaining local authority for school administrations to discipline students in accordance with their local policies
  • Directing school boards to include information detailing incidents involving a student's physical assault on a teacher, as well as the district's response to that assault as part of state-required School Performance Reports
  • Establishing a Victims of School Violence fund to compensate teachers and other public school employees who are victims of physical assault by a student for related medical and legal costs incurred when other compensation is not available

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.


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.


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:

  • H.F. 1043 Hugo; stormwater handling system project funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated. Some 20 percent of Hugo's water usage reportedly is for lawn/landscaping irrigation. The water-reuse project this bill supports is for removing the aquifer as a source of lawn-sprinkling water.
  • H.F. 2930 and H.F. 3740 Light rail transit operating costs governed. This legislation is designed to put the brakes on the light-rail expansion boondoggle in the Twin Cities area.
  • H.F. 2695 Dyslexia. This bill focuses on Department of Education expertise on this subject.


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.


Linda Runbeck


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