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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bob Dettmer (R)

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Legislative Update

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

After weeks of further negotiations over vetoed, bipartisan budget bills, Governor Dayton finally agreed to call a special legislative session on Friday, June 12 so we could finish our work on behalf of Minnesotans. While I'm disappointed that Governor Dayton vetoed our bipartisan education, environment, and jobs and energy bills after the regular session, I'm glad to report that we were able to resolve that conflict and repass those bills out of the legislature.

In total, we took up six bills when we reconvened for special session including education, agriculture and environment, jobs and energy, legacy, capital investment, and a technical corrections bill.

Here are highlights of the various bills we debated and passed on Friday:


  • $525 million in new spending for our schools (up from $400 million in the vetoed bill)
  • A 2 percent increase to the per pupil formula for 2016 and 2017, giving school districts the ability to spend that money where they need it most
  • $95 million more for early learning initiatives including targeted early learning scholarships, school readiness aid and Head Start

Agriculture and Environment

  • Provides $23 million to state agencies to respond to the avian flu outbreak which has devastated turkey farms across the state
  • Increases funding for Soil and Water Conservation Districts to help keep local control over local projects
  • Reforms to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and DNR along with funding for those agencies

Jobs and Energy

  • $10.6 million for broadband grants
  • $1.8 million for job training grants
  • Requires legislative oversight of President Obama's Clean Power Plan
  • Special unemployment insurance for people laid off due to the avian flu outbreak
  • Spends $24 million less than last biennium


  • Funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008
  • Includes reforms to protect taxpayers and ensure fiscal responsibility, preventing funds from being renewed for projects if the Office of the Legislative Auditor finds funds were not used appropriately
  • Improves water quality standards by developing lake and stream clean up and protection plans

Capital Investment

  • $27 million for two facilities that will help Minnesota respond to avian flu and other animal diseases
  • $33 million for State Capitol renovations
  • $32 million for transportation projects
  • $23 million for flood prevention and disaster relief

Overall, this session we accomplished a number of important things that will benefit Minnesota families and taxpayers. We defeated a gas tax increase, invested in our schools and implemented meaningful reforms to state government. Our final budget agreement was the third lowest state spending increase in the past 50 years, as Republicans worked to limit government growth and keep spending in line with family budgets. I am proud to have passed a budget that benefits Minnesota families and taxpayers both in our district and across the state.

As always, thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your family on a matter of state government, please don't hesitate to contact me.