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

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis and Survey Results

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you to everyone who took my 2015 Legislative Survey. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on important issues being debated at the Capitol.

Here are the results:

Do you believe state funding for nursing homes and long-term care programs for seniors and the disabled should be:

Increased                      63.80%

Kept the Same              30.82%

Reduced                       5.38%


Governor Dayton and the Senate DFL majority have proposed adding an additional 6.5% sales tax to fuel sales to fund transportation projects. Do you support this proposal?

Yes                  38.60%

No                    53.68%

Undecided        7.72%


What is the best approach for addressing the problems with the Obamacare exchange in Minnesota, MNsure?

It isn't working, repeal it entirely                                   36.18%

It can be fixed by enacting significant reforms               26.62%

It's working, keep as it is currently                                19.45%

Give Minnesotans more options outside of MNsure       17.75%


The November forecast showed that Minnesota is projected to have a $1 billion surplus for Minnesota's 2016-2017 budget. What should the legislature do with that money?

Increase spending                     23.87%

Return it to taxpayers               36.13%

Keep it in the reserves               40.00%


From your perspective, what is the best way to grow jobs in Minnesota?

Increase state funding for construction projects across Minnesota             17.19%

Pass tax relief and incentives to encourage business growth and job creation   21.09%   

Limit state spending to the amount of revenue taken in and slow government growth   16.67%

Use surplus funds to offer income tax relief so taxpayers can keep more of their hard-earned

money 14.58%

Raise taxes and increase spending on state programs  3.39%

Increase education funding and focus on workforce development   22.40%

Other   4.69%


Currently, in tight budgeting times school districts make layoff decisions based on teacher seniority. Some legislators are advocating for a reform that allows schools to also consider teacher effectiveness in those decisions. Do you support making this change?

Yes                  67.13%

No                    19.58%

Undecided        13.29%


Under Minnesota law, Sunday liquor sales are illegal in Minnesota. Do you support repealing this law, allowing liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays?

Yes                  38.11%

No                    49.30%

Undecided        12.59%

Bonding Request for Local Roads

On Wednesday in the Transportation Committee, my bill HF 1564 was heard which would give $1.4 million to St. Cloud for road improvements around Oak Hill Elementary School. This is an important project for our community and the school, and I am pleased it received a hearing.

Transportation Omnibus Bill

On Tuesday, the House debated its first omnibus bill. The Transportation Omnibus Bill includes the Republican Road and Bridge Act which dedicates $7 billion to our roads and bridges over the next decade without raising your taxes.

You can read more about our plan in my recent St. Cloud Times editorial here.

Also included in the bill was legislation I authored that will benefit local companies in our area. A law change last year limited in-transit plates for transport service businesses to only be valid in Minnesota. This means that it would cost them hundreds of dollars per vehicle to transport these vehicles outside of the state, requiring them to get new permits.

This simple, common sense change to state law can make a big difference for businesses who transport vehciles outside Minnesota.

Jobs Omnibus Bill

On Wednesday, the House heard and passed the Jobs and Energy Omnibus Bill which will provide cheaper and cleaner energy to Minnesotans.

Additionally, included in the omnibus bill are two provisions that I authored and advocated for this session. The first provides funding for the Boys and Girls Club, a group for which I am proud to carry legislation. The bill appropriates $1.5 million for the Minnesota Boys and Girls Club with matching funds from non-state sources.  The grant will allow Boys and Girls Clubs across Minnesota do projects that will help young people cultivate and improve their job and employment skills. 

The second provision I authored included in the Jobs and Energy Omnibus Bill reforms the Minnesota building code, allowing it to be updated every six years and ensuring builders have a twelve-month implementation period before enforcement. It also requires free copies of construction codes to be made available and delays the effective date for the International Residential Code. If signed into law, this legislation will make it easier for builders to do business in Minnesota.

Local Events

Recently, I was fortunate enough to meet with Charity Modi, an amazing young woman and the St. Cloud Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota. The St. Cloud Technical High School senior is motivated, dedicated to her community and a wonderful example to her peers. Way to go Charity!

Additionally, this Sunday, I will be presenting House resolutions to congratulate St. Cloud State University's championship wrestling team. I am excited to meet with these great athletes who are proudly representing their school and community.


As always, I welcome your input on legislation and want to hear more about issues important to you. Please don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting, call my office or send me an email. I am here to serve you!

It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol.