Activity on the House Floor this week was devoted to passing the remaining state government funding bills. The next step is the funding bills will be sent to Conference Committees for differences with Senate bills to be rectified.
Rep Lucero presenting his student data privacy bill HF 1507 to the Civil Law Committee.
STUDENT DATA PRIVACY
I had a bill hearing this week in front of the Civil Law Committee on my bill HF 1507. HF 1507 enjoys strong bipartisan support and co-authors and I'm humbled to partner with stakeholders such as Minnesota Advocates and Champions for Children (MACC) and the ACLU on this very important topic.
Of the thousands of pages of MN State Statutes, a mere five pages include very watered down and obsolete language in a section titled "EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY."
For all intents and purposes, Chapter 125B has not been updated since 2007 despite the exponential developments in technology innovations and capabilities that have occurred over the last decade. The law is not keeping up with technology.
HF 1507 would update MN law to stop Big Government and Big Business from their current practice of collecting, warehousing, data mining, and third-party sharing our children's private data for their purpose of building profiles, discovering patterns, and capitalizing on actionable information without parental knowledge or permission.
Rep. Lucero joined by representatives from Minnesota Advocates and Champions for Children (MACC)
testifying in favor of his student data privacy bill.
The Public Safety bill funds the courts, law enforcement, corrections and other agencies and by ensuring the necessary tools are in place to operate and keep Minnesotans safe. Two highlights in the bill include a provision to increase penalties for those who illegally protest on highways and a provision that will save taxpayer dollars by requiring the Department of Corrections to lease or purchase the currently unused prison located in Appleton, MN if it is determined increased prison capacity is needed.
JOB GROWTH AND ENERGY AFFORDABILITY
The jobs and energy bill is focused on increasing jobs and lowering energy costs in Minnesota. The bill makes changes to streamline the overly burdensome regulatory process for energy providers and redirects funding savings from ineffective programs into more efficient energy programs. Other bill highlights include helping to returning $700 million in unclaimed property to Minnesotans, improves vocational training for students seeking a career in the trades, and funds job training for veterans entering back into the civilian workforce.
STATE GOVERNMENT FINANCE
The State Government Finance bill includes a number of reforms to increase transparency, limit government growth and protect funding for veterans programs. A major highlight of the bill is the State Auditor is required to reimburse Wright, Becker, and Ramsey Counties for costs incurred to defend themselves against the State Auditor’s frivolous lawsuit against the three counties.
Rep. Lucero meeting constituent Alyson from Saint Michael who stopped by
to discuss higher education grants and funding.
As a former college teacher, college accessibility and affordability is extremely important to me and is the focus of the Higher Education funding bill. Highlights of this bill include tuition freezes and reductions at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The bill also funds student debt counseling to help prevent people from defaulting on their student loans.
The Agriculture Finance bill seeks to address the needs of farmers and the agriculture community. Highlights in the bill include rapid response to plant pests and pathogens, expanding and diversifying our agro-economy, and creating a dedicated Pollinator Habitat and Research Account that focuses on understanding and researching scientific-based solutions to address our dwindling pollinator populations.
Rep Lucero meeting constituent Megan from Otsego who stopped by
to discuss Healthy Kids Coalition.
HAPPY EASTER AND PASSOVER
The Legislature will not be in session next week so my next email update will be two weeks from today. I wish many blessings as you and your family this coming Easter and Passover!
As always please contact me to share any issues, concerns, or feedback you may have that will assist me best represent you. The best way to reach me is by email at Rep.Eric.Lucero@House.MN or by phone at 651-296-1534.
Have a great weekend!
Albertville, Hanover, Otsego, Saint Michael, and the Wright County portion of Dayton