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

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Capitol Update from Rep. Duane Quam

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hello from the State Capitol,

Initiatives and bills are beginning to make progress and move off the House floor. I want to give you an update on a couple of these and on a few of my common-sense proposals in St. Paul.


House File 6 was passed by the House on Monday and brings reasonable, common-sense tax conformity to many Minnesota families and individuals. I voted “yes” on this bill, which will adjust Minnesota law to conform to recent federal changes in tax code. This is a good bill that makes it easier for Minnesotans to file their taxes and to comply with federal law. This bill allows more money to stay in the pockets of everyday Minnesotans, making it easier for them to pay their bills, provide for their families, and keep our economy moving. Not conforming would add unnecessary burdens to taxpayers across the State.

MNDOT Land Bill – HF123

My legislation to require the MN Dept. of Transportation to, for the first time, catalog and inventory all of its holdings is moving forward. After assessing land holdings, MNDOT would then review them for sellable land, and deliver a report to the legislature every two years. This will facilitate the return of property to the tax rolls and generate economic development across the state. The bill has passed the House Transportation Policy Committee with bipartisan support and will continue to be heard by other committees in the coming weeks. I hope to have Gov. Dayton’s support as the Senate has already expressed bipartisan support as well.

Helping Hospitals Serve Patients Better

I was co-author of this legislation during the last term and am glad to continue to support HF429. It will allow our nurse's licensing to be accepted across state lines. This bill would allow Minnesota nurses to continue follow-up communication with their patients across state lines. The Mayo Clinic, and other hospitals, has many patients from outside of Minnesota that require communication with nurses as part of out-patient care. By joining the compact, their licenses will allow them to practice in around half of the U.S. This is required for phone, email, and any communication to a patient not physically located in Minnesota.

House Rules Disappointing

On Monday night, the full House debated and voted on our permanent rules for operation under the new DFL Majority. One of these rules decreases our ability as legislators to bring the needs of our district to the discussion, by banning amendments to bills outside of a 24-hour window. I’m disappointed the Majority decided to bring these rules to your state House, in an effort to silence members of the Minority Caucus.

Calling for Honesty in School Discussions

During an Education Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, I brought up several concerns about how the Dayton Administration and its allies are treating the current school aid shift (with borrowed money still owed to schools). Our education officials need to realize that shifting money from school districts shouldn’t be just a tool politicians use to get out of a pinch and also shouldn’t be used in political attacks. Here’s video of my comments.


Duane Quam