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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Grossell (R)

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Protester Debate and Line 3, Bonding Bill Move Forward

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


We're down to less than a week at the Capitol and will be working round the clock to get our work done. The House & Senate have come to an agreement on most of the key issues and we are now heading into discussion with the governor. Stay tuned but know I will continue to fight on your behalf here in St. Paul. 

Debate on Increasing Penalties for Lawbreakers 

Last Tuesday, we passed, HF390, on a bipartisan vote of 71-55. The legislation increases penalties for those convicted of blocking access to a highway, an airport, or public transit.

During this debate, I was incredibly disappointed to hear Democrat after Democrat stand up and denigrate police officers during the debate on a bill to increase penalties on lawbreakers. We should be able to have these debates on important issues without resorting to disparaging every person who puts on a badge to protect their community.

As a retired deputy sheriff, I know far too well police officers put their lives on the line to protect every single person in communities across this state. I was proud to stand up and speak against these misguided notions. You can watch a video of my remarks here:

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House Passes Bill to Authorize Line 3 Construction

On Monday,  the House passed legislation I co-authored to authorize the construction of the Line 3 Replacement Pipeline in Northern Minnesota. House File 3759 would grant a certificate of need and route approval for the project, and passed on a bipartisan vote of 74-51. The pipeline was ordered to be replaced during the Obama Administration, and has been vetted extensively through our state’s regulatory process.

This is great news for our community. The people in Northern Minnesota are ready to get to work on the Line 3 Replacement Pipeline. This pipeline will use the latest technology and will be much safer and better for the environment. It will also create and sustain good-paying jobs, generate more tax revenue for our local communities, and provide a significant economic boost to our area. It’s time to get the Line 3 project moving.

Speaker Daudt gave a great speech on the importance of this bill to our area. You should watch that as well.

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Bonding Bill Includes Veterans Homes, School Facilities Funds

The bipartisan bonding bill that passed on Monday with a super-majority (84-39) included language to enable the construction of the veterans home in Bemidji. Keeping this promise to our nation's heroes has been one of my top priorities over these last two years in the legislature and I am glad we have it moving forward on multiple tracks. On top of the veterans homes, there is also funding to address school facilities in both the Northwest Angle Inlet's one-room schoolhouse and Red Lake. These are worthwhile projects and will help to make sure children in the area are able to go to school in safe, up-to-date facilities.

More than two-thirds of the bonding is dedicated to bricks-and-mortar projects, such as roads and bridges, water infrastructure and statewide asset preservation. The bill also features a component to use excess reserves from the Vikings stadium account to fund construction of veterans homes in Bemidji, Montevideo, and Preston. The veterans home construction was the result of an amendment I added to the bill on the House Floor. 

The bonding portion of the bill includes:

  • $364 million for asset preservation such as state-owned buildings
  • $120 million for road and transportation infrastructure
  • $153 million for water and conservation projects
  • $188 million for “other” projects, such as:
    • $25 million for school safety
    • $25 million for mental health centers

With funding such as trunk highway bonds included, the bill provides an additional $254 million for transportation, another $10 million for water/conservation and $127 million in other funding for a total of $1.2 billion.

The bill provides $41 million in funding for the construction of veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo through the same funding mechanism proposed in the House’s omnibus state government finance package. The reserve account for the Vikings stadium is running an excess, expected to reach $58 million by the end of the current biennium and grow to $120.2 million at the end of next biennium. This bill would allocate a portion of that funding for constructing veterans homes in each of the aforementioned cities.

Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts or concerns. My phone number is 651-296-4265 or you can email me at

Have a great week and God Bless!