Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

Back to profile

Becker-Finn Column on End of Session

Monday, June 19, 2017

The following column was printed in the Roseville Review.

As a freshman State Representative in the minority party, many people asked me how much I thought I would be able to accomplish this year. Now that the 2017 Legislative Session has ended, I am happy to report that the answer is “a lot.”

A top priority for our region was passing a long overdue bonding bill. The first bill I introduced was to procure funding for the replacement of the bridge at Rice Street and 694. This project was included in the bonding bill signed by Governor Dayton last week, and will result in increased safety and efficiency for pedestrians, residents, businesses and commuters. Overall, the bonding bill will also result in thousands of jobs across Minnesota.

We are fortunate to have three incredible public school districts in our region – Roseville, Mounds View and White Bear Lake. A top priority of mine is making sure our schools are the best they can be. After several versions of K-12 omnibus education bills, we were finally able to secure the necessary per pupil funding to keep up with inflation. In addition, we were able to stop private school vouchers from becoming reality and diverting funds away from our public schools. I will continue to advocate on behalf of all of our students at the Legislature.

Only two freshman legislators serve on the Public Safety Committee and I am proud to be one of them. It is a committee that requires a lot of bipartisan work on difficult criminal justice issues. In addition to securing adequate funding for the courts and prison systems, we were able to provide funding to law enforcement for implicit bias and cultural diversity training. We also passed needed policy changes that will make it easier to prosecute domestic violence perpetrators and keep victims safe.

One of the issues I am most passionate about is protecting our natural resources. We as a Legislature need to do more to make sure we have “drinkable, swimmable, fishable” clean water for future generations. Access to clean water is part of what makes Minnesota the state we love but it won’t remain that way if we don’t work for it. Those of us who care about protecting the environment spent a lot of time playing defense this session, often against other legislators who refuse to accept basic science and facts.

As for what didn’t happen, Republican leadership failed to address internet privacy concerns. Without enacting legislation, your personal information and internet browsing history could be sold without your permission by internet service providers. Non-ranking members from both parties support enacting this law, but leadership refused to add this provision to the final omnibus bill. I am hopeful we can address this issue right away next session.

Another disappointment this year was failing to properly address cyber security. Not addressing this issue is a disaster waiting to happen and puts the private data of all Minnesotans at risk, as well as the ability of our state to run properly should our systems fall victim to increasingly sophisticated hacker attacks. I believe we should be pro-active in protecting citizens’ private data.

In closing, there are a few unresolved issues, including funding of the legislature, that remain to be worked out between Republican leadership and Governor Dayton. My hope is that both sides will eventually set aside their anger and remember that they are accountable to the citizens of Minnesota.

As always, it is an honor to serve as your voice at the Capitol. I encourage everyone to enjoy our beautiful lakes in the coming months.

Jamie Becker-Finn

State Representative

District 42B, serving Little Canada, Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake, and parts of Roseville and Shoreview

Recent News for Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn