The 2018 Session kicked off on Tuesday it will be a brief one as we must conclude by May 21st. The two-year budget was passed last session along with a sizeable bonding bill that prioritized roads and key infrastructure projects. The second year of a biennium, traditionally, is a “bonding year” where the biggest issue is putting together a bonding bill for the entire state – we passed one last session because the previous legislature had failed to pass one in 2016.
My priorities this session will be focused on completing the work I began last session. Chief among them will be getting the Veteran Home built in Bemidji; we made good progress building support for this project during the 2017 session and I am hopeful we can build on that this session. I will also continue to champion legislation that will protect victims and potential victims by punishing and holding sexual predators responsible. I will also continue to push legislation that will protect nurses and other emergency personnel.
Finally, I will push to find funding to help fix the one-room schoolhouse in the northwest angle. Rep. Dan Fabian and I had the opportunity to travel to the Angle Inlet School last year and the members of the Capital Investment Committee heard testimony from school officials on the condition of the school. We all came away knowing we can and should dedicate funds to make needed repairs and improvements to this school.
Rep. Matt Grossell (left) and Rep. Dan Fabian (right) visited the Angle Inlet School last session
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety rolled out their new computer system, MNLARS, in 2017. It was immediately fraught with problems as thousands of Minnesotans couldn't renew tabs and other basic functions of government.
When the MNLARS system was failing, the Dayton administration insisted for weeks that problems were being overblown and things would be quickly corrected. However, the Department of Public Safety is now asking for an additional $43 million on top of almost $100 million already spent over the past 10 years to correct the problem.
This is an unrealistic request and Minnesota taxpayers should not be saddled with the bill to clean up the mess. During this upcoming session, we must determine who is responsible and make sure they are held accountable so this does not happen again.
If you have had or encounter a problem with the MNLARS system, such as difficulty renewing your vehicle tabs, please use this form to let us know what is going on. We are working with DPS to resolve issues and help fix the system.
While much of the great work we did during the 2017 Session went into effect later in 2017, a few laws went into effect on January 1st, 2018. Among the new laws that went into effect were uniform election dates, more specialty license plates, and two health-related reforms -- one will make it easier for patients to refill their prescription eye drops and another will allow home health care workers to count training for those who are hard of hearing towards their annual training requirements.
The full list of new laws from the 2017 Session is available here.
Have a great week and God bless!