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

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Legislative Update on Session Negotiations from Rep. Bob Dettmer

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Dear Friends,

We are very close to the end of the legislative session. What have passed all of our major budget bills out of conference committees and through the legislature. Governor Dayton chose to veto all of these bills, so we are continuing to work to come to a compromise. Here are some highlights from some of the budget bills, with the underlined points reflecting priorities that the Governor expressed to Republican leadership that were included in these bills.


  • Invests in our schools. Minnesota schools will see more than $1.1 billion in increased funding to ensure that every child in Minnesota has access to a great education.
  • Places More Dollars in the Classroom. Focusing the vast majority of new funding on the per-pupil formula will ensure education resources are put where they’re most effective—in the classroom helping students and teachers.
  • Commits to Early Education. Our littlest learners are prioritized thanks to more than $370 million in early education funding—including flexible funding for all schools with Pre-K programming.
  • Tackles the Teacher Shortage. Key reforms and innovative grant programs will help schools retain the best teachers and address teacher shortages in Greater Minnesota by recruiting the next generation of educators.
  • Keeps Kids Safe. Testing for lead in schools will ensure Minnesota kids have clean drinking water.
  • Invests in Roads & Bridges. $5.35 billion in increased funding to fix our roads and bridges—without a harmful gas tax increase! Infusing much needed resources for our state highways, county roads, city streets and township roads, the bill also provides significant resources for small cities that currently do not receive constitutionally dedicated transportation revenues.
  • Relieves Congestion. Drivers will spend less time in traffic due $350 million in new funding for the Corridors of Commerce Program, which focuses on adding lane capacity and congestion relief along our state’s busiest highways.
  • Builds Safer Bridges & Rail Crossings. Drivers will travel safely with more than $25 million for the local bridge replacement program, improvements to rail safety, and critical safety upgrades at some of the most dangerous rail crossings across the state.
  • Restores Funding to Bus Transit. Ensuring continued bus service in the Metro area thanks to increased funding for cost-effective transit options.
  • Puts Money in Seniors’ Pockets. Reducing state taxes on social security will mean a raise for thousands of Minnesota senior citizens.
  • Makes College Affordable. A first-in-the-nation tax credit for student loan debt and new tax incentives for families saving for college will help lower the cost of higher education for Minnesota families.
  • Reinvests in Hometown Businesses. Eliminating an unfair and automatic tax increase and providing relief from the extra property tax paid by businesses of all sizes will make Minnesota a better place to grow jobs across the state.
  • Reduces the Cost of Childcare. The dependent care credit will put more money in the pockets of families with young children, helping to lower the increasing cost of childcare.
State Government
  • Creates Efficient & Effective Government. Manageable reductions and increased reporting requirements will reduce the cost of state government for taxpayers and make it more accountable to the people it serves.
  • Prioritizes Our Veterans. Keeping our promise to National Guard members through enhancing educational and job training opportunities and moving the State forward on gaining approval for new veterans' homes in Greater Minnesota.

Again, we continue to negotiate these, and other provisions, with Governor Dayton. In these final days, we will work to get our work done for a second time and reach a compromise the Governor will sign.

Saint Paul Disabled American Veterans Chapter Meeting

This last Saturday, Rep. Keith Franke and I were guest speakers at the Saint Paul Park American Legion Post for the DAV Chapter 17 meeting, which is in Rep. Franke's legislative district. It was an honor to get away from the end-of-session rush at the Capitol for a little while, and speak to these veterans in Saint Paul.

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Again, I will keep you updated regarding budget negotiations this last portion of session. Thank you for the honor of being your state representative.