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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nels Pierson (R)

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Legislative Update (September 8, 2017)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Committee Tour

This week, I joined members of the House Capital Investment Committee to tour possible bonding projects in Southeastern Minnesota and the Twin Cities suburbs. We had a great time seeing a DNR fish hatchery, visiting the National Eagle Center, and even went in an underground cave. I was fortunate to welcome the committee to RCTC and Graham Park in Rochester to help present their bonding requests. It was informative to see the interesting sights throughout the state, as well as to advocate for important local projects.

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Back to School

My three kids headed back to school this week, and it’s exciting for them, and for me as a parent. The whole process of school shopping, looking at classes, and meeting new teachers is a fun time to have children. I’m also able to look at this time from the lens of a legislator, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with where Minnesota schools are headed.

This was an important legislative session for schools around the state. One of the most significant things we accomplished was investing $1.3 billion in increased education funding in the next two years. That’s a big bump, and the effect can be seen locally. The five largest districts that serve the majority of our students will receive a combined, new investment of almost $11 million in the next two years.

I was proud to have one of my education-related provisions passed in our final bonding bill. The language included $1.5 million for the Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota facility in Olmsted County. This is a great resource to help those struggling with dyslexia to learn in a way that best fits them.

On top of the increases in funding, we passed significant, common sense reforms. We ended the “last-in, first-out” default layoff policy. This gives districts and teachers the freedom to negotiate layoff procedures that can be based on other components rather than just seniority. We also fixed our broken teacher licensure system to bring in the best teachers to our local classrooms.

Looking back, I’m proud of what we passed this year, and how it will help our schools. Parents, teachers, and students will start to see these improvements this fall, and for many years to come.

Please Contact Me

If we haven’t had a chance to connect since session ended, please call or email my office and we can set up a time to meet. I love hearing your ideas and suggestions.

Enjoy your weekend,

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