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

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Legislative Update (2-19-21)

Friday, February 19, 2021

Neighbor,

The governor’s announcement this week regarding getting more middle and high school students back in the classroom may have gotten him some favorable headlines, but it’s really more of his smoke and mirrors. 

The governor seems to be creating the illusion that he is relaxing his unilateral powers (which have been in place for nearly a full year), when in reality his announcement will mean little to many schools because so many already are moving back toward in-person learning.

The governor’s plan does not provide a major shift from current practice, and does nothing to incentivize local districts to reopen if they are currently in distance or hybrid learning.

The bottom line is we need to safely reopen our schools as quickly as possible. The stats show we can do so safely, and the governor's own numbers indicate transmission in schools for teachers is nearly zero.

School closures have caused significant damage to students’ mental health and academic achievement. The governor’s choice to delay reopening schools until now could have long-term consequences, especially for at-risk students.

One silver lining to the governor’s otherwise unimpressive announcement is he finally acknowledged what many of us have been saying for months: It's time to get our students safely back in the classroom.

On another topic, the Department of Vehicle Services site in Detroit Lakes is one of 15 locations statewide that will be open on Saturdays through March 27 to help thousands of people who were granted driver’s license renewal extensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic complete the task.

About 200,000 Minnesotans have regular Class D driver’s licenses that expired during the pandemic and need to get them renewed before the end of March. Commercial driver license deadline to renew is Feb. 28. It will take time to process these licenses, so people are urged to take care of this soon. Click here for more.

Finally, we are scheduled to receive an updated state economic forecast on Feb. 26. Recent projections have shown an improving bottom line and I am curious to see the details of exactly where the revenue is coming from to exceed previous expectations. Also, added revenue will further illustrate the governor’s plan to raise taxes by $1.7 billion is completely unnecessary and should be put to rest.

-Steve 

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