This past Friday I missed a couple of events, I think they were cancelled, but I did see many of my neighbors as we took part in the popular group activity of shoveling snow and pushing cars. It’s been a busy and productive time in Saint Paul and here’s an update for the last couple weeks.
REAL ID Passes House
On Thursday the House passed House File 3, the REAL ID bill, which will make Minnesota REAL ID compliant. The bill passed on a bipartisan vote of 72-58. It still allows you the option of getting our current MN ID/DL, but also allows Minnesotans an ID/DL that is federally compliant. Without action on REAL ID this session, Minnesota driver’s licenses would no longer be acceptable for boarding planes as soon as January of 2018.
REAL ID is a federal law passed in 2005 with the goal to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to obtain fake identification cards by setting standards that states must meet for their driver’s licenses. Some federal facilities, including military bases, have already began to require those without compliant licenses to provide passports or other documentation in order to be admitted.
Enacting REAL ID this session will allow Minnesotans to have the peace-of-mind that they can fly or visit family on military bases with their Minnesota-based ID card. The Senate version is working its way through committee.
Hands Off Child Care Act
On Monday, my bill to repeal the ability for self-employed child care providers to be considered a state employee only for purposes of unionizing their businesses was heard in and passed out of the Subcommittee on Childcare Access and Affordability.
An election was called in early 2016 and child care providers overwhelmingly rejected unionizing by a nearly 3:1 margin. Testimony from child care providers shows that aggressive tactics were used by union organizers, which failed overwhelmingly anyway. This bill removes this cloud over them, and the ability for union activists to attempt to force another vote on unionization for independent childcare providers.
$1.65 Billion Forecast
Today, the budget forecast was released showing an increase of $250 million from previous forecasts up to $1.65 billion for the 2018-19 biennium. It's clear we need to look at reforming the tax code and relief for Minnesota families. I look forward to working with my colleagues to put together a responsible budget that respects the hard working Minnesota tax payer. Stay tuned for more.
Visitors to Capitol
Recently, a number of constituents and groups from our area came to meet with me in Saint Paul. They include individuals from the Rochester Reading Center, Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, Van Horn Public Library in Pine Island, Rochester Public Library, MN Occupational Therapy, Kasson-Mantorville Telecom, Blue Earth Valley Telecom, ClearWay (students from Kasson Mantorville), KSMQ from Austin MN, MN Physical Therapy Association, Mn Builders Association / Realtors Association, and Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center.
Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts and ideas on issues important to you. You can schedule a time to meet with me in my office any time by calling (651) 296-9236, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and have a great week,