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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Capitol Update

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year to you and your family!

With a new year, it means that the 2018 legislative session is right around the corner. But before we get into another busy session of passing bills that work for the hardworking families and taxpayers of Minnesota, I thought it would be great to review some of last session’s key accomplishments.

The 2017 legislative session was one of the most productive in recent memory and included historic middle-class tax relief, transportation investments that focused on roads and bridges, significant education reforms to improve student learning and more money for every classroom. Healthcare and addressing our state’s MNsure mess was also a key priority, and Republicans advanced a number of meaningful reforms to lower costs and improve access for people who purchase their own insurance. These were the top priorities for folks in our community, and I worked hard to make sure these common sense priorities were accomplished in 2017.

Furthermore, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Childcare Access and Affordability, I helped spearhead a number of meaningful reforms that benefit both families and providers. Key highlights include requiring exit interviews at the end of licensing visits to prevent surprise correction orders and create a healthier, more collaborative relationship between licensors and providers; requiring direct, timely communication from DHS to providers regarding changes that impact their businesses so there is less confusion when there are changes to government rules, policies and regulations; allowing providers to take down correction orders overturned by appeal; and creating a new fix-it ticket for minor violations that don’t imminently endanger the health, safety or rights of children. As a legislator, mom and former childcare provider, my focus is always on the well-being and safety of kids, as well as working to improve access to childcare for families and helping providers in this important industry.

Other legislation I advanced last year includes a bipartisan bill to clarify statute regarding public investments, which helped Douglas County Hospital and was signed into law by Governor Dayton in April. To protect the well-being of women and children in our community, I also championed another bipartisan bill to end taxpayer funding of abortion (that was unfortunately vetoed by the governor), as well as a bill to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM). While the FGM bill passed the House, it did not become law in 2017, but I will be advocating for it again this year.

During the 2017 session, I also worked with constituents who brought me ideas for legislation. For example, one bill I authored on behalf of a constituent strengthened orders of protection statute for victims of sexual violence. I worked with another legislator who authored a bill with a similar intent, and we were able to amend and strengthen the law last session.

I am proud to represent you at the Capitol, and will continue to advocate for the people and priorities of our district. With the 2018 session set to begin in late February, I want to hear from you about your priorities for the upcoming session. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas, questions and comments with me.  I can be reached by phone at 651-296-3201 or by e-mail at I would love to hear from you!

I represent the best!