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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peggy Bennett (R)

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Legislative News from Rep. Peggy Bennett

Friday, March 25, 2022

Dear Friends,


We are nearing the end of a very busy week at the State Capitol. All House committees were in full swing, attempting to hear as many possible bills before the first legislative deadline. This means in order for any bill to move forward during the rest of session, it had to have been heard in a legislative committee by Friday.



Throughout the last biennium, I have been working on and introduced a number of bills relating to things like omnibus bill reform, the fundamental right of a parent to direct the education of their child, education reform, the right of parents to view their minor child’s medical records, government reform, and more.  I thought I would touch on a few of those bills that have received some legislative movement prior to the first legislative deadline.



There is a severe shortage of healthcare professionals in Minnesota, especially in rural areas like ours.  There is a podiatrist with Mercy One in Iowa who would like to practice medicine in Albert Lea - not just at the Mercy One clinic, but also in our local nursing homes. Unfortunately, he is unable to practice in our state due to one small difference in Iowa and Minnesota podiatry statutes. This bill makes the fix so qualified and experienced podiatrists like this doctor and others can practice medicine in Minnesota.  


This bill has passed in both House and Senate committees and is now awaiting further action for a floor vote in both bodies.



This bill provides flexibility between public school districts and non-public schools like St. Theodore’s in Albert Lea, St. Casmir’s in Wells, and Hollandale Christian School to enter into mutually beneficial school transportation agreements for local students. This flexibility was allowed by emergency order during the pandemic, but it is unclear if it remains available under current law.  Since it worked well and only takes place if mutually agreed upon by both the school district and non-public school, it makes sense to make this change in law permanent.


This bill has passed in both House and Senate committees and is now awaiting further action in both bodies.



This bill holds state spending accountable by making sure that the program’s government funds are actually working. At this point, the bill is focused on PreK-12 grant spending and would require that state education grant recipients provide information on how well their program is working to help students meet educational goals. If this concept is successful, I’d like to pursue this type of action for ALL government spending to make sure government spending is going to things that show evidence that they actually work.


This bill passed in both the House and Senate last year, with final passage and the governor’s signature at the end of session.  It is now law in Minnesota.



These are bonding bills that ask for funding for the continuation of the Albert Lea Fountain Lake dredging project and the Albert Lea wastewater treatment plant project.  Both are important projects for our area.  


Each of these bills has been heard in the House Capital Investment Committee and are being considered for possible inclusion in the House bonding bill.



It was so nice to see all of my friends from the Flatlanders Chapter, A.B.A.T.E. of Minnesota at the American Legion in Alden last weekend. A.B.A.T.E is a motorcycle awareness and education group that advocates for motorcycle related issues. I have really enjoyed getting to know this great group of people over the last few years and hear about the issues that are important to them. It was great to see Senator Dornink and Rep. Patty Mueller there as well.



Have a great weekend,