It may have taken a while, but it looks like spring is finally here! I hope you can use this weekend to spend some time outside and forget last weekend’s snowstorm. With spring comes our busiest portion of the legislative session. There was a lot happening this week and I want to make sure you’re updated.
Family Law Bill Passes Unanimously
On Monday, my bipartisan bill, HF3295, was passed off the House floor on a unanimous vote of 125-0.
The bill would allow unmarried parents to file a joint petition, modifying current statute which only allows for joint petitions for divorcing couples. The change would give parents an opportunity to work out a parenting plan and other negotiations before presenting it to the court. This can reduce the animosity between couples, save money, and can help lead to better outcomes for children.
Current law does not allow for this valuable method of resolving custody and parenting time matters for unmarried parents. My bill is one way to make this difficult process easier on parents, and, more importantly, the children involved. I’m thankful to have unanimous support for this bill, and hope to see Governor Dayton sign it into law this session.
My House Republican colleagues announced a plan this week to build three critically-needed veterans homes across Minnesota using excess funds from the Vikings Stadium Reserve Account. The building of these homes around the state has been a long time coming. Using these funds to help our nation’s heroes is a common-sense initiative, and could have a lasting impact for Minnesota veterans.
Data Practice Case
This week, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling that’s good news for anyone in favor of government transparency. The ruling found that Hennepin County’s data request procedures were not up to a standard that would lead to quick responses, and that the county was shown to have unnecessarily delayed fulfilling the data request. Government data should be stored and organized in a way that provides prompt and efficient responses to data requests. I believe a more transparent government is more responsible and accountable to the people.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court announced a decision in the case between State Auditor Rebecca Otto and multiple Minnesota counties. The unanimous decision correctly ruled in favor of our 2015 law that allowed counties to contract with private CPA firms to conduct their required audits. The goal of this legislation was to give counties the opportunity to save valuable taxpayer dollars if a private firm was less expensive than the State Auditor to perform this service.
Well, Auditor Otto simply didn’t like the law, and sued. Despite multiple losses in court, Otto continued to appeal, wasting more taxpayer dollars.
The good news is the Supreme Court issued a firm, unanimous ruling in favor of the counties.
Please Contact Me
As always, please call or email my office if you’d like to discuss any local or state issue; I’m here to help.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather!