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Legislative Update - May 18, 2018
The 2018 legislative session is drawing to a close and there are a few large items to finish, including major supplemental finance, tax conformity, and bonding bills. Here are the latest updates from the Capitol:
Public infrastructure legislation creates jobs and gives Minnesotans the best value for their money when it comes to major construction projects. Unfortunately, the bonding bill brought to the floor by the majority caucus was less than half of Gov. Dayton's proposal, leaving too many projects around our state unfunded and too many jobs left unfilled.
After the Senate bonding bill failed on Wednesday, I hope we will see an improved bill come back to the House floor for a vote.
"Hands Free" Cell Phone Bill
On Wednesday, DFLers renewed the call for debate and a vote on the ‘hands free’ cell phone bill on the House floor. This bill has earned tremendous bipartisan support and would ban handheld cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle. With numerous co-authors from each party and the support of 80 percent of Minnesotans, this bill deserves to be heard and voted on. Unfortunately, the effort was blocked by Republican leadership in another display of putting politics ahead of Minnesotans' safety.
The Republican majority passed legislation to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November, taking money away from our other state services to exclusively fund roads and bridges. We need to do a better job of funding transportation needs, but this amendment creates no new funding which means it has to be taken away from affordable housing, our schools, and other critical services.
This is consistent with Republican votes over the last decade. They want the privilege of being a state representative but want to push the tough votes on getting work done onto their constituents instead of being accountable themselves. Most Minnesotans recognize the need to fund our infrastructure the right way and expect their legislators to get the job done.
Secretary of State Steve Simon called on the legislature to release $1.5 million in federal funding for Minnesota's election cybersecurity. The federal law requires the legislature and Gov. Dayton to accept the funds before they can be delivered.
I support setting aside politics and authorizing the state to receive these funds. This is necessary funding to protect our elections and I hope we find a resolution for this issue without delay.
Please continue to reach out with your thoughts and concerns as session winds down.
House District 51A Burnsville and Eagan
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