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

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Legislative Update (4-29-16)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

This week, the House debated and passed three supplemental omnibus bills. Before I provide a summaries of these bills, I want folks to understand that these bills do not spend any new state money. Instead, if funding is included, it is from the reprioritization of already existing funds.

K-12 and Higher Education

On Monday, the House passed the supplemental K-12 and Higher Education omnibus bill. Included in this bill are a number provisions aimed at closing Minnesota’s achievement gap, reducing our teacher shortage, bringing additional accountability to the University of Minnesota, and lowers the cost of higher education for Minnesota students.

Included in the Higher Education portion of the bill is a provision 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.

Jobs, Agriculture, and Environment

The House debated and passed the supplemental Jobs, Agriculture, and Environment omnibus bill. This legislation includes a number of provisions that will benefit Greater Minnesota including:

  • Funding for broadband internet expansion
  • $11.5 million for the completion of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System
  • Funds for workforce housing in Greater Minnesota
  • Repeal of the 2014 law allowing for the unionization of independent day care providers
  • Funds for research to improve animal health and livestock disease prevention
  • Creation of a new tractor rollover protection pilot program

I authored two provisions included in this bill. The first expands the definition of costs eligible for recovery under the Petrofund petroleum cleanup program. The second adds several consumer protection provisions to the plan that an owner of a community solar garden must submit to the Public Utilities Commission for approval before the project can begin operation.

Health and Human Services, State Government Finance, and Public Safety

The last bill that was passed by the House this week was the Health and Human Services, State Government Finance, and Public Safety. This bill focuses on increasing access and affordability of child care and health care in Minnesota, improving quality of life for Minnesota seniors, putting an end to MNsure, and eliminating unnecessary taxpayer-funded travel and pay raises for highly-paid commissioners.

Staying in Touch

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!