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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Governor Dayton signed federal tax conformity into law, providing $22 million in immediate tax relief to thousands of Minnesotans; the House and Senate have both passed premium relief legislation; and Real ID compliance legislation is making its way through House committees.

Here is an update from Saint Paul.

Sanneh Foundation Legislation

I recently introduced legislation that will provide a $5 million grant for the Sanneh Foundation which offers both in-school and after-school academic and behavior interventions to help students in our community. The Sanneh Foundation does wonderful work, focusing on helping students of color, students from low-income families and students who are chronically absent from school through mentorship, tutoring and behavioral support.

Helping students do better in school improves graduation rates and helps kids go on to have a better future.

I am hopeful that this legislation will be signed into law, helping the Sanneh Foundation continue to grow and reach more kids in our community.

Health Care Emergency Aid and Access Bill

On Thursday, House Republicans passed The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill off the floor which will provide premium relief to thousands of Minnesotans struggling to afford out-of-control health care costs, as well as implement meaningful reforms to begin turning around our failing individual market.

The Senate has also passed similar legislation, and the next steps will be to negotiate a final bill in conference committee so we can get this bill to Governor Dayton’s desk for his signature as soon as possible.

I will keep you updated on this important piece of legislation.

Real ID Compliance

According to the Department of Homeland Security, beginning in January of next year, airline passengers who have a driver’s license from a state that is not compliant to federal Real ID requirements will need an alternative form of identification to fly domestically. In Minnesota, that would mean either a passport or enhanced driver’s license if we do not pass House File 3, a Real ID compliance bill that is currently making its way through the legislative process.

Minnesota is one of the few states remaining that is not compliant or on the path to compliance with this law, which was passed by Congress in order to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to obtain a fake ID card. Last session, we worked to get Real ID legislation on the governor’s desk. It passed on the House Floor 87-42 but was blocked by the Senate in final negotiations.

This year, we are again making it a priority, and House File 3 has been heard in several committees over the last few weeks. My goal is for this bill to be signed into law soon, giving Minnesotans peace of mind that they will be able to continue to fly without unnecessary difficulty. Additionally, to ensure that those who would have to get two licenses within a four year period because of the delay of implementation, a second license will be provided free of charge if you have to renew early.

This is an important issue for many folks who travel for work or with their family, and I would like to see House File 3 signed into law as soon as possible.


If you have ideas, suggestions or concerns about legislation being debated in the House this session, I welcome you to contact my office. Your input is invaluable and helps me better represent the priorities of our community.

It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol. Have a wonderful weekend!