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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sandy Layman (R)

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News From Representative Layman 4-7-2017

Friday, April 07, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

IRRRB Reform

This week, the Minnesota House of Representatives took a significant step toward addressing the constitutionality problem of the IRRRB with the recent passage of our omnibus jobs and energy bill. Contained in this legislation is language from my IRRRB reform bill, House File 1643.

My legislation is a straightforward way to ensure legislators don’t violate the Minnesota Constitution by serving in two branches – the legislative and executive – simultaneously. Currently, all nine legislators on the board serve in a dual capacity in the executive branch. Put simply: this is unconstitutional. My bill corrects that by making the legislative board advisory and putting it in the legislative branch and retaining the agency in the executive branch.

A prosperous Iron Range serves all of Minnesota. We need to make common sense changes to this influential agency to move toward a more transparent, responsive, effective, and constitutional IRRRB.

Budget Bills

Over the last two weeks, we passed our large budget bills. Some highlights included:

  • An education bill that invests $1.1 billion MORE into our schools and ensures we keep the best teachers in our classrooms
  •  A higher education bill that freezes tuition at Minnesota State Colleges
  • A public safety bill that combats terrorism and sex offenders
  • An agriculture bill to help protect against emergencies like avian flu and noxious weeds

These bills passed, and will now head to conference committee as the House and Senate come to agreement on the budget. As this process moves forward, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Legacy Funding

A rare thing happened this week when our Legacy funding bill passed on a unanimous vote! Applause erupted as the vote was tallied and members enjoyed a unique, bipartisan moment on the floor of the House. For more information on this bill, please click here.

Visits

Though we were on the House floor for much of the week, I was happy to have some time to see folks from our area. On Tuesday, nursing students who are completing their four-year nursing degrees came from Grand Rapids, Deer River, and Coleraine to visit the Capitol.

House Image

Easter/Passover

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz gave the opening prayer on the floor of the House Wednesday in celebration of Passover. The Torah in the below picture is all handwritten with special ink on sheep or deer skin.

House Image

Starting on Monday, the legislature is going on break to honor Easter and Passover. Before we started break, Rep. Bob Loonan played the bagpipes to celebrate the passage of all of our omnibus bills. So fun!

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Have a great weekend,

Sandy