I am hosting another “Office Hours” event tomorrow, Saturday, at Bernie’s Grill in Faribault. The event is set to begin at 9:00 am and is a great opportunity for you to come by, have some breakfast, and chat about issues that concern you. I encourage you to attend if you are available!
Fireworks Bill Passes House
On Tuesday, the House approved legislation that allows for the sale of aerial and audible fireworks such as bottle rockets, firecrackers, and roman candles.
Fireworks legislation is nothing new at the legislature. However, this specific piece of legislation differs from a previous bill that was vetoed by Governor Dayton in that it would allow fireworks to only be sold from June 1 to July 10 each year. Additionally, it gives local governments the ability to charge an annual license fee to stores or bar their sale.
According to some studies, Minnesota loses as much as $5 million in sales tax revenue every year when people drive to border states to purchase fireworks.
At the end of the day, folks are going to use fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July whether they’re legal or not. This bill gives these Minnesotans the opportunity to purchase these fireworks in their local community while also allowing the state to benefit from their sale.
House Adopts Budget Targets
Last week, the House approved supplemental budget targets. These adjustments in the state’s budget reflect our continued focus on keeping government spending in line with family budgets. With this belief in mind, our supplemental budget proposal results in no net increase in spending—leaving the $900 million state budget surplus for tax relief and a transportation bill.
Included in our targets is additional funding for broadband expansion to underserved and unserved parts of Minnesota. This state funding, coupled with federal funds, means that Minnesota could receive over $100 million in broadband expansion investments next year. This is exciting news for the thousands of Minnesotans who are currently unable to access the internet from their homes or businesses.
Growing Senior Care Workforce
A bill I am authoring that will work to grow the senior care workforce received a hearing in the Higher Education Committee.
This bill would provide funds to Winona State University’s HealthForce Minnesota project to develop educational materials that increase awareness of career opportunities in the field of senior care.
As a member of the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee, I have toured a number of senior care facilities over the past year and a half. On these tours we consistently hear about the shortage in caregivers. This bill would address this issue and bring more individuals into the caregiving field.
Staying in Touch
That’s all for this week’s update. Please be sure to contact me if you have a question relating to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,