The major focus of the House to date in the session has been hearing a multitude of individual bills to be considered for possible inclusion into the several, different omnibus finance bills which make up the various components of the state's new two-year budget.
The House transportation omnibus bill was unveiled this week and we began to receive public testimony in committee. I will keep you posted as the transportation and other omnibus bill progress. Below are other developments from Saint Paul this week.
ASSISTING LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS
I received a bill hearing this week for a second equity-in-education bill (H.F. 983) I am the chief author of. Thank you to STMA students Brianna Goodchild and Madeline Jesser, STMA Superintendent Jim Behle, and representatives from the Elk River school district for coming to the Capitol to testify in favor of my bill.
H.F. 983 seeks to help low-revenue/low-tax-base school districts by targeting the bottom 20 percent to provide additional revenue. Among the school districts which will benefit include St. Michael-Albertville, Elk River, and Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose.
The structure of the state's existing school funding formula results in a continued funding disparity for those districts at the top versus those districts at the bottom. Moreover, the hard-working residents such as our communities in the bottom 20 percent disproportionately feel the financial impact of local school referendums due in large part to being bedroom communities without a large business or industrial tax base. This is the second bill I have chief authored working to make state funding of our local schools more equitable, and I am proud to receive bipartition support for both bills.
My bill now is under consideration for possible inclusion into the House Education Finance Omnibus Bill.
MINNESOTANS AGAINST COMMON CORE
Minnesotans Against Common Core (MACC) rallied at the Capitol this week and I was pleased to speak to the group after the rally. I spoke about my three bills: H.F. 1777, seeking to grant more authority to parents to review curriculum taught to their children; H.F. 1778, seeking to require parental authority prior to schools administering excessive tests and student surveys to children; and H.F. 1779, seeking to prevent third parties outside the control of the school district from having Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on students, with a few exceptions such activity requiring law enforcement involvement, etc.
The turnout by parents concerned about Common Core and protecting our children was great! Thank you MACC for all your hard work in sounding the alarm raising awareness of the threat to the innocence of our children brought about by the content of Common Core curriculum and the threat to student privacy brought about by Common Core testing.
GOVERNOR ISSUES STATE OF THE STATE
Gov. Mark Dayton provided his annual State of the State Address Thursday night in the House chamber. There is not much to say. Dayton and the Democrats are still in denial over the fact high taxes hurt families, and Dayton and the Democrats are still pushing hard for universal pre-k.
Rep. Eric Lucero
State Rep. District 30B