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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 18, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dear Neighbor,
 
The legislative session is nearly over. We have a few short days left until adjournment at midnight on Sunday.
 
Final Days of Session: Funding Education
We’re in the home stretch of the legislative session. We must finish up our work on Sunday night before the clock strikes 12:01 A.M. on Monday. A month ago, we learned that dozens of school districts are facing immediate budget deficits that could result in teachers and support staff being laid off, along with significant cuts to school programs. As a result, Governor Dayton called for $138 million in one-time, emergency funding to increase resources for every Minnesota school district by $126 per student.
 
Unfortunately, Republicans in the House and Senate have so far said no to emergency funding for our schools. Instead of negotiating with Governor Dayton, they have now pushed forward with bills they know the Governor will veto. I am supportive of emergency school funding and hopeful a compromise can be reached this weekend.
 
Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill
On Wednesday, DFLers renewed the call for debate and a vote on the ‘hands-free’ cell phone bill. This bill has earned significant bipartisan support and would ban handheld cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle. With numerous co-authors from each party and the support of 80 percent of Minnesotans, this bill deserves to be heard and voted on.
 
Work Left to Do
With just days left in session, there is still a significant amount of work left to do at the Legislature, including passing a robust public infrastructure bill, a tax conformity bill, and a supplemental budget. I look forward to updating you next week on the final outcome.
 
As Monday morning approaches, I’ll be working to make sure the values of our community are reflected in the decisions made at the Capitol. I’ll be here all weekend, so feel free to email me and let me know what’s on your mind.
 
Sincerely,

Rep. Melissa Hortman