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

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News from Rep. Quam (04-20-18)

Friday, April 20, 2018


Spring may finally be here for good. Have a great weekend and enjoy the beautiful weather! 

Debating Important Issues

This week Mothers Demand Action (MDA) was at the Capitol to meet and discuss the issue of safe schools. We have a common goal of keeping students safe and protecting innocent lives. However, there are differences in possible solutions.  I believe these conversations are extremely important.I've been clear that the focus needs to be effectiveness: will a proposal work, has it been tried and what has been the results? Next, I focus on feasibility: Can it be implemented? 

On important issues, it is important that we not just do a feel good, but an ineffective solution, it would only delay getting to an actually effective solution. 

The important issue of school safety will continue to evolve. The House has taken that deliberative approach and proposed a suite of school safety reforms this session. They include the following solutions, authored by numerous House members, are currently advancing through the public committee process::

  • School resource officers, student support personnel, and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a floor level of funding for small schools.

  • School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.

  • School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids.

  • Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.

  • Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.

  • School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff.

We have listened to school officials, teachers, students, and parents in our local communities to bring forward this multi-faceted approach to making our students safer. I am proud of the work we have put forward and will continue to insist we put our student's safety first. ?

Veterans Home in Preston

Veteran's in our area of the state will benefit greatly from having a veteran's home in Preston. The southeast corner of our state has been lacking a veteran's facility like the ones included in the House's proposal and I am pleased we can provide our veterans with the care they earned serving our country.

The House State Government Finance Committee announced plans to fund three critically-needed veterans homes across Minnesota. Using excess funds from the Vikings Stadium Reserve Account, the bill funds veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo.

With financial backing from the state and local communities, the federal government will cover 65 percent of the veterans homes’ cost. Though the House State Government Finance bill included funding for these homes last year, Governor Dayton vetoed the bill.

The Vikings stadium reserve used to fund the veterans homes currently has an excess balance of $58 million. Remember that charitable gambling, such as that in VFWs and American Legions, was a key funding stream for the "People's Stadium".

DARE Poster Contest

As part of the DARE program, students from all over the state entered in a poster contest and two students from Byron middle schools finished in the top 10 statewide! Congrats to Gianna Brewer for taking 1st Place and Clara Pierce for taking 10th! 

It's fantastic to have such talented young people in our community.


Meetings Since My Last Update

Since my last update, I had the great opportunity to meet with so many people and groups interested in what is going on at the legislature. A few of them include heading to Byron Schools to speak with them, Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Autism Society of Minnesota, AFSCME Council 5,  local dairy farmers and other members of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association for Dairy Day at the Capitol, Education Minnesota-Rochester, and the previously mentioned Moms Demand Action. 

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 anytime by calling (651) 296-9236, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at

Have a great weekend,