I want to extend my congratulations to Faribault Foods on the groundbreaking of their building expansion. Faribault Foods is a local success story and we are fortunate to have such an outstanding business in our community that will continue to provide jobs to our citizens for years to come.
This week, the House debated and passed a number of supplemental omnibus bills. Here is a brief recap.
Jobs, Agriculture, and Environment
On Wednesday, the House approved the supplemental Jobs, Agriculture, and Environment bill. Included in this bill is a provision I authored that establishes a pilot program to pay for 70 percent of a farmer’s costs to install a roll bar to a tractor from before 1987. The program is optional and would not use any state funds.
Most folks don’t think of farming as a dangerous profession, however, over 1,400 farmers died from tractor related rollovers from 1992 to 2005. If this bill saves just one life, it will have been worth it.
The Agriculture section of the bill, which received significant bipartisan support during the committee process, reprioritizes unspent avian flu emergency response dollars passed last session to livestock disease prevention, and response funds in the event of a future agriculture crisis.
Also included in the bill are provisions to increase broadband access in Greater Minnesota.
K-12 Education and Higher Education
Earlier in the week, the House passed the this year's K-12 and Higher Education bill. This bill includes key reforms that aim to close the state’s achievement gap, reduce the teacher shortage, bring accountability to the University of Minnesota, and lowers the cost of higher education for Minnesota students.
Included in the bill is a provision I authored that expands higher education opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Through my provision, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be offered dynamic and encouraging instruction and career-oriented curriculum that will help them lead independent lives.
The pilot program allows for students enrolled in the program to have an inclusive two-year full-time residential college experience consisting of core courses that include developing life skills, financial literacy, and the ability to live independently.
The provision also allows for students in the pilot program and similar programs to have the ability to qualify and receive state grant funding.
Health and Human Services, State Government Finance, Public Safety
Finally, the House passed the supplemental Health and Human Services, State Government Finance, and Public Safety bill.
Included in this bill are provisions to improve child care access and affordability as well as a provision that does away with MNsure and moves Minnesota to the federal exchange.
In addition to this, the bill bans all non-essential travel for state employees and increases transparency in state government.
Staying in Touch
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a questions regarding this piece of legislation or any other matter before the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,