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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Duane Quam (R)

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News from Rep. Quam (4-29-16)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hello from the State Capitol,

Three omnibus bills were debated and passed in the House this week. Here is a recap of these three bills.

K-12 and Higher Education

On Monday, the House passed the omnibus K-12 and Higher Education bill on a bipartisan vote of 84-46. This bill makes key reforms aimed at addressing Minnesota’s achievement gap, reducing the current and future teacher shortage, bringing accountability to the University of Minnesota, and lowering the cost of higher education for Minnesota students. As with the rest of our supplemental omnibus bills, this legislation reprioritizes existing funding thus leaving the budget surplus for roads and bridges and middle-class tax relief.

A provision of mine was included in the bill, it requires the commissioner of education to work with the Minnesota School Safety Center to ensure that school crisis response teams are available to school districts in every region of the state.

This provision will ensure, when a tragedy occurs at a school, a response team of counselors and other professionals will be able to assist in helping grieving students and staff.

Finally, the bill ends a fundamental revenue disparity between metro and greater Minnesota schools. Thanks to this provision, schools in our area will see an additional $23 per pupil in funding with the Rochester schools receiving an additional $15.

Jobs, Agriculture, and Environment

The Jobs, Agriculture, and Environment omnibus bill was debated and passed by the House body on Wednesday.

The house bill increases Minnesotans’ access to everyday necessities like clean water, broadband internet, housing, child care, and addresses emerging issues like farm safety and livestock disease.

Key provisions include:

  • Broadband expansion in underserved and unserved areas of Greater Minnesota
  • Workforce housing targeted to Greater Minnesota

  • Research to improve animal health and livestock disease prevention

Additionally, this legislation repeals the statute passed in 2014 allowing for the unionization of child care workers.

Health and Human Services, State Government Finance, and Public Safety

The HHS, State Government Finance, and Public Safety omnibus bill received approval from the House on Thursday.

The bill has a number of provisions including:

  • Replaces MNsure with a federal-state eligibility and enrollment system

  • Allows savings from public program eligibility reform to be used for the 5% Campaign home and community-based services rate increase

  • Streamlining and reforming licensing and regulations to better support accessible and affordable child care

  • Bans all non-essential state travel

Staying in Touch

As always, if you have any questions regarding these bills or any other matter relating to state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9236 or via email at

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend,