PENSIONS BILL MAKING PROGRESS (2018 PENSION REFORM AND STABILIZATION BILL)
Just this morning, the State Government Finance Committee approved my 2018 Pension Reform and Stabilization package. Some say it is the largest pension reform plan in decades. This proposal would reduce anticipated rates of return from 8-8.5% to 7.5%, which is critical towards ensuring the future financial health of state retirement programs. In addition, for every $1 invested, there is $3 in benefit savings. The bill now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee, and then to the Minnesota House floor.
GOVERNOR SIGNS CAMPAIGN FINANCE, METROPOLITAN AIRPORT COMMISSION PROPOSALS
I was pleased Governor Dayton signed two of my bills into law this week. The first firms up some of Minnesota’s campaign finance and reporting requirements and brings more transparency to Minnesota’s campaigns. The second would adjust the salary cap for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which is critical towards allowing it to address compensation and wages at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport to ensure the best and brightest are hired and remain employed here.
VETERANS BILLS APPROVED
On Wednesday, members of the Minnesota House unanimously approved five separate bills designed to improve the lives of our veterans. Among the topics: formally recognizing Purple Heart recipients, tracking if veterans are appointed to any state agencies or task forces, formally recognizing Atomic Veterans Day, and better informing our National Guard members about life insurance benefits.
GENERAL JOHN VESSEY DAY IN MINNESOTA
We also approved legislation designating June 29 as General John Vessey Day in Minnesota. General Vessey was a four star general in the United States Army, served as the tenth Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and dedicated his life to military service. To view my House floor comments on this proposal, please click here.
STRENGTHENING PENALTIES AGAINST INTERSTATE PROTESTERS
This week the House also approved a measure that increases penalties for protesters who illegally obstruct roadways and transit. Current law already makes it illegal to obstruct a highway, but it is clearly stopping no one as evidenced when a group shut down Interstate 94 a while ago. This creates a dangerous situation not only for the protester but also to oncoming drivers as well as law enforcement who will ultimately be forced to remove these lawbreakers. Bill authors believe strengthening the penalty on the current law may serve as more of a deterrent to this criminal behavior.
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