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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Green (R)

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Legislative update (3-23-18)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Neighbors,

This week’s focus in the House was on conducting committee hearings for bills so measures can clear initial hurdles and remain in the process ahead of today’s first House deadline. For instance, a bill I authored to stop state funds from being used to promote violent activities received its first House committee hearing Monday and remains in the legislative mix.

The bill (HF 3269) is in response to last fall’s news that Minnesota Legacy Amendment dollars were allocated to a woman to create a video game that could encourage violence.

I realize art is up to interpretation, but this video game holds absolutely no benefit to the taxpayers of Minnesota who paid for it. It is a disgrace that someone would work the system this way, using tax dollars to produce violent messages.

This all traces back to a $3,290 fellowship grant issued through the 2016 Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to create a video game which Green said promotes domestic terrorism. Questions also arose regarding whether the grant recipient was a Minnesota resident throughout the project.

The language I propose would clarify Minnesota’s arts funding laws. It provides increased oversight of the Minnesota State Arts Board, including requiring projects to be completed in Minnesota and to be consistent with constitutionally dictated purposes.

The bill was set aside for possible consideration later this session.

MNLARS was in the news again this week when the House and Senate both passed bills to continue operations of the troubled new state system for vehicle registration and licensing. It is sad that gross project mismanagement on the part of the governor and his administration has brought us to the point where rescue efforts by the Legislature are necessary to keep MNLARS operating. As much as some people would just as soon walk away from this debacle, we need this system to work so citizens of this state can take care of their licensing and registration. The accountability measures we put in place with this bill will be helpful going forward, so that is an improvement.

Stay tuned for more news from the House. There could soon be more to report on my bill to penalize those who misrepresent their pets as service animals, a practice which is causing an increased number of public safety issues.

-Steve

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