A few items as we move further into February.
American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett Visit
Last week the American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett visited Post 255 in Forest Lake. It was an honor having him in our community. I enjoyed discussing the work the Legion does in our community and across the state with him and other members.
Stillwater School District Vote on February 11th
As I have discussed in previous updates, the Stillwater School District will vote on school consolidations tomorrow, February 11th. My hope is that the superintendent and school board members will consider the questions and concerns of the community when deciding how to vote. These elementary schools are assets to our community, and I know many families would be severely affected if these school closings take place. I will be watching the vote on Thursday.
School Transportation Sparsity Bill
Last month I introduced a bill (HF2432) that would help with the transportation funding deficit that some school districts find themselves facing. Currently the state provides a per-capita funding for students that is supposed to take transportation costs into account. However, this formula is often inadequate when a school district covers a large geographic area. This legislation would help school districts recover approximately 25-35% of the transportation costs not funded by the state. This would lighten some of the financial burden that some school districts face when serving students living in rural communities, or for school districts whose student population simply isn’t large enough to fully fund the cost of busing kids to school. HF2432 has been referred to the Education Finance Committee, and you can follow the bill’s progress by following this link on the MN House website: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF2432&ssn=0&y=2015 .
Minnesota State High School League Audit Request
I have requested that the Minnesota State High School League perform an audit of their policies and procedures to insure that their policies are best serving student athletes and their families. The last audit was performed in 1998, and I believe a review of policy effectiveness would serve the League and our state well and help us keep up with situations facing high school sports in these changing times.
State Government Finance Committee Tour
This month I will be traveling throughout Minnesota with the State Government Finance Committee. The committee will be holding several hearings/meetings to discuss the legislation pertaining to the Office of the State Auditor, and Veterans’ issues. Meeting dates and times will be posted on the House website once available; follow this link if you are interested in attending a hearing: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/schedules/schedule.aspx?c=89021.
Minnesota Military Radio Spot this Thursday
This Thursday at 12:00 I will be doing a brief interview on Minnesota Military Radio to talk about bills passed last session and different veterans’ affairs bills to look for this coming session. Tune in to KTLK 1130am if you’re interested in an overview of military and veteran legislation.
State Wrestling Tournament
The Minnesota State High School League has selected me to be a referee at the 2016 Minnesota state wrestling tournament on Feb 25th, 26th, and 27th. The team competition takes place on Feb 25th followed by the individual competition on the 26th and 27th. I'm scheduled to officiate on Friday, Feb 26th from 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Come to the XCEL center and take in all the wrestling action!
Thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative.