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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Legislative Update

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hello from St. Paul,

 

Yesterday, the Minnesota House approved legislation that begins to address the mess surrounding the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System. The program, unveiled in July, has been a disaster for deputy registrars and many Minnesotans who have been unable to secure car titles and registrations in a timely fashion.

 

It’s also been a financial disaster, as Minnesotans have already spent $93 million over ten years on a program that still isn’t fully functional.

 

While allowing $9.6 million to be allocated from the Department of Vehicle Services accounts in the special revenue fund, we also approved a number of accountability measures that will hopefully prevent more reckless state agency spending. The bill also includes a proposal requiring a request for information to determine whether a private vendor is a better option, and requires the Governor’s administration to seek an extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for REAL ID.

 

Governor Dayton signed the bill into law last night.

 

On Monday the House Agriculture Policy Committee heard three bills relating to ditch mowing. One of the proposals would allow landowners to mow any time of year, and establish a fine for local governments who don’t eliminate noxious weeds from the ditches that fall under their jurisdiction.

 

Another proposal would extend MnDOT's ditch mowing enforcement for another year.  

 

On Thursday, the House Public Safety Committee approved a bill heard that would increase the penalty for assaulting a police officer. The legislation would change a physical assault against a peace officer from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. It will carry a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison or a fine up to $4,000, or both.

 

Have a good weekend,

 

Joe