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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative Update (4-15-16)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

On Wednesday, the House unveiled a series of proposals to increase broadband access throughout Minnesota. The proposals total $35 million including $7 million dedicated to improving broadband access for Minnesota students through new, innovative grant programs.

Combined with federal funding, Minnesotans will see a historic broadband infrastructure investment next year totaling over $100 million. The funding focuses on unserved and underserved areas, as well as areas with larger numbers of low-income households.

In other news, the House’s supplemental education omnibus bill was approved in committee this week. Included in the bill is a piece of legislation I authored that gives a grant to Southwest Minnesota State University for an online teaching training program designed to help special education paraprofessionals become licensed special education teachers.  

Finally, we approved legislation this week that would allow for the sale of audible and aerial fireworks, like firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles here in Minnesota.

It is estimated that Minnesota loses up to $5 million a year in sales taxes every year when folks drive to border states to purchase fireworks.

The bill specifies that fireworks may only be sold beginning June 1st and ending July 10th of every year with local cities having the ability to charge a license fee to stores hoping to sell. IN addition to this, cities are allowed to ban their sale if they so choose.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these issues or anything else before the legislature, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-5374 or via email at

Have a great weekend!