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Minnesota Legislature

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

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News From Representative Layman 6-1-2018

Friday, June 01, 2018

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you’re enjoying the start of summer. I’m sure our students are having fun with their first taste of the three-month vacation! For me, it’s been great to get back to our area and see many of you. If we haven’t had a chance to connect, please contact my office to set something up.

DJJ Legislation Signed into Law

This past week, Governor Mark Dayton signed one of my bills, HF3763, into law. The legislation clarifies current statute relating to the DJJ economic protection trust fund. The change ensures money in the fund is only used for the benefit of the Taconite Assistance Area and shall not be expended, appropriated, or transferred from the fund for any other purpose.

I’m thankful for the support of my colleagues in the legislature, the Iron Range Delegation, and Governor Dayton for helping this bill become law. I also want to thank Senator Justin Eichorn for authoring the bill in the Senate as it passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House.

My legislation is simple, and essentially puts an exclamation point on our current law in order to better keep DJJ funds in the Taconite Assistance Area. These dollars are intended to be used for our area, and the passage of this bill can help avoid unlawful tinkering by future legislatures. I’m proud to advocate for our area and to have this bill become law in our state.

Funding Secured for Local Projects

On Wednesday, the governor announced the signing of our capital investment bill featuring $825 million in general obligation bonds to fund construction projects throughout the state. The bill included my legislation to fund local projects including $1 million for the city of Cohasset to match other funding to complete the Tioga Recreational area, $500,000 for radio infrastructure through Itasca County that is critical to the continuation of Northern Community Radio based in Grand Rapids, and $2 million for the Grand Rapids Armory renovation. 

Getting these projects in our bonding bill and signed into law was a top priority for me this session, as it also was for the many volunteers and staff who are working on and advocating for these projects. This funding for the three local projects will have a big impact in our district, and I look forward to seeing the positive results now and into the future.

An important part of the bill is $25 million to make safety improvements to Minnesota schools. The bonding portion of the bill as presented to the governor includes:

  • $178 million asset preservation
  • $123 million for water-related projects
    • $20 million for flood work
  • $208 million for higher education construction
  • $541 million for transportation
  • $32 million for veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo
  • $28 million for mental health crisis centers

Post Session

Now that the activity of the legislative session has ended, you will be receiving these updates less frequently. But, I will be based from home, rather than St. Paul, so please contact my office to schedule a time if you would like to meet in our area. Though session is over for the year, I am still here to help you and your family.

Have a great weekend,

Sandy