It was a busy week at the Legislature as committees are working hard to get finance bills moved to the House floor for crucial votes that will help craft our state’s two year budget. This week’s update includes a recap of the Governor’s State of the State speech, an update on some of my bills, and a reminder to take my 2015 legislative survey.
Governor Delivers State of the State Speech
Late last week, Governor Dayton delivered his State of the State speech. It was an honor to attend my first State of the State as the House chamber was filled with all 201 members of the Minnesota Legislature, former Governors, members of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Vice President Walter Mondale.
Historically, State of the State speeches are given earlier in session as the Governor would have the opportunity to propose new initiatives that he would like to see the Legislature take up. However, given the fact that this year’s speech took place later than usual, the Governor’s address did not include any new or surprising proposals.
In his speech, Governor Dayton continued to push his 50-foot agricultural buffer strip proposal. While many farmers and farm groups remain opposed to the proposal, as it currently stands, the Governor did seem to leave the door open for some compromise on this proposal in his speech. I am hopeful that the Governor, Legislature, farmers, and farm groups will be able to come to a sensible, common sense solution that will maintain our high water quality standards while also addressing the concerns raised by farmers.
Update on Bills
I want to take the time to update you on some of my bills that have been moving through the legislature.
House File 1224, which provides funding to address necessary upgrades of hardware and software in classrooms, computer labs, and server rooms at the Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind in Faribault, has been included in the Education Finance Committee's omnibus bill. I am happy to see that this important bill was included in this year’s Education Finance bill.
House File 1152 has been heard by four committees and is currently in the Rules Committee where it is waiting to be moved to the House floor for a vote. This bill, which has bipartisan support, increases accessibility to vaccinations for nursing home and long term care employees by establishing a working group. It also establishes solutions to ensure that individuals who are being cared for in a nursing home or a long term facility are not put at risk.
2015 Legislative Survey
I encourage you to complete my 2015 legislative survey. You can take the survey by going to my House webpage and clicking the “2015 Legislative Survey” link on the right-hand side of the screen.
It is my hope that as many constituents as possible complete my survey and weigh in on some of the important issues that are being debated at the Capitol. I am anxiously awaiting your feedback.
If you would prefer to fill out the survey by hand, please contact my office and we will mail a paper copy to your address.
Staying in Touch
Please encourage your family, friends, or co-workers to sign up for my weekly email updates. They can sign up by visiting my official House page.
As always, do not hesitate to contact me to discuss any questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stay connected with me by visiting my Facebook page and my Twitter account.