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

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Here is an update from your Capitol.

Later School Start Times Improve Student Health

House Image

Speaking to the press about my legislation during a press conference on Tuesday

This week, I spoke to the press about a bipartisan bill I am carrying that would require later start times for schools. Many parents and teachers are struggling with tired teenagers who can’t get to sleep at night, yet need to wake up too early for school. Too little sleep can affect students’ school work, their physical health and their mental health, and it’s why I am advocating for this change at the Legislature.

The bill, which received a hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, would require middle schools and high schools to start after 8:30 a.m. and ensure elementary aged students are getting on their bus no earlier than 7:00 a.m. The bill, if signed into law, would go into effect beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, giving districts ample time to implement the change.

As we continue to look at ways to keep Minnesota kids safe and healthy, I think this change can be part of the solution. More sleep reduces risk-taking behaviors in teens, anxiety, car crashes, depression and sports-related injuries, while helping them do better in school. I think making this change can lead to better outcomes for Minnesota kids.

House File 2010

This week, I presented House File 2010 to the House Property Tax Committee. This bill would allow the city of St. Cloud to increase its current liquor and food tax by up to half a percent, and its lodging tax by one percent to help pay for improvements to the Municipal Athletic Center. Any tax increase would have to be approved by the voters in the general election.

The city has asked for this change, and I am carrying the bill so that taxpayers can decide if they would like to see additional dollars go to this project.

The Governor’s Budget

As we work to ensure folks can take full advantage of state and federal tax relief, a recent analysis by Governor Dayton’s own Department of Revenue found that his budget proposal, which includes reinstating more than $1 billion in health care tax increases, would raise taxes on Minnesotans of every income level and make our tax code more regressive. Households making less than $32,000 would be hit the hardest.

In the House, we are working on a federal conformity plan that will focus on returning the surplus through meaningful tax relief and hold as many Minnesotans as possible harmless, protecting families, citizens and hardworking taxpayers. I will share more details on our plan soon.


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