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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Eric Lucero (R)

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Rep. Eric Lucero (30B) - Legislative Update

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

Work this week included passing the remaining of the omnibus finance bills off the House floor and sending all the omnibus bills into joint House-Senate conference committee meetings to resolve the differences. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 18, so we are officially in crunch time. We’ve been told beginning next Monday through the end of session to make zero outside plans because it will be full day (and evening) sessions!

Survey results

Thank you again to everybody who participated in my legislative survey to provide me with the feedback to best represent our community.

Among the feedback received, people in our community overwhelmingly oppose a gas-tax increase, support granting school districts greater flexibility to consider teacher effectiveness rather than teacher seniority when making layoffs decisions, and believe student data privacy should be protected.

Transportation is a top issue this session. The Republican transportation bill provides $7 billion over the next decade to roads and bridges using existing revenue. On the other hand, Gov. Dayton and the Democrats continue to demand a gas tax increase on the backs of hardworking families to the tune of at least 16 cents per gallon at today's prices. Democrats’ demand for tax increases is at the same time Minnesota has a projected $2 billion surplus demonstrating how out of touch Democrat priorities are with the priorities of Minnesota families.

I absolutely oppose a gas tax increase, and 66 percent of survey respondents from our community agrees Democrat gas tax increases are not the answer. The state must do a better job prioritizing spending with existing revenue by dedicating a percentage of general fund dollars to transportation.

Education is another top issue this session. Current law requires school districts to make layoff decisions based on teacher seniority. The result is the last teacher hired is the first to be let go. A 67-percent majority of survey respondents from our community agree states law should be changed to permit school districts to consider teacher effectiveness as a factor when determining which teacher(s) may need to be laid off. The Republican K-12 Education omnibus finance bill included this common sense change to state law.

Also on the topic of education is student data privacy. In the survey, 69 percent of respondents from our community supports limiting student data collected from online testing and surveys from being accessible to third parties outside the control of the school district. Current law only requires schools to notify parents of the option to opt out of schools disclosing directory information of their children to third parties. I am the chief author of a bill (H.F. 1779) seeking to change this to an opt-in requirement. The result will be to empower parents because schools will be required to obtain express permission before releasing or disclosing directory information or other personally identifiable information about a student to any third party or any governmental entity over which the state of Minnesota, the school district, or the school has no direct control. I look forward to a bill hearing in committee next year.

Other survey results include:

  • 56 percent of survey respondents from our community wants to pass tax relief and incentives to encourage business growth and job creation

  • 55 percent states MNsure is not working and should be repealed entirely

  • A mere 13 percent supports the new Common Core standards

  • Only 18 percent supports the funding of Southwest Light Rail

I would like to once again thank the people who participated in my legislative survey. If you were unable to submit a survey, your input always is welcome via email.

Sincerely,

Eric

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