Greetings from the Capitol!
With a little over a week remaining in the 2018 legislative session, we recently began our conference committee work on the tax bill and omnibus bills that have been passed by the House. This is the process of legislators from the House and the Senate working out the differences between bill versions that have passed in their respective bodies. Following conference committee, the bills then head to the governor’s desk for final approval. We are working with the Senate to find a compromise, and advance a final package to ultimately receive the support of the governor.
This week the House hosted representatives from TeenPact Leadership Schools. TeenPact gives students ages 8-19 a hands on learning experience at the Capitol focused on state government and leadership training. This is an awesome program for our state’s young people, and it was great to have the organization at the Capitol this week. For more information please visit: www.teenpact.com
Athletic Trainers Bill
Yesterday afternoon, the House overwhelmingly passed my bill to modify the licensure of athletic trainers in Minnesota. This bill would continue the current Minnesota Board of Medical Practice oversight of athletic training in Minnesota, but would shift athletic trainers from a registration system to a licensure system. Moving to licensure requires new applicants to undergo criminal background checks in order to receive licenses – which will better protect the public. The bill includes a number of other reforms, including repealing temporary credentials for athletic trainers who have not yet passed the National Board of Certification exam.
I have spent six years working on this legislation, so I am happy to finally see it passed by the legislature. It’s important we make these reforms to protect the public and join the vast majority of other states that license their athletic trainers.
Andrea Allyn and Michael Doyle of Heartland Orthopedic Specialists in Alexandria made the trip to St. Paul yesterday for the vote. I am thankful for the efforts of all the athletic trainers that have helped me with this bill along the way.
The House also voted yesterday to approve pro-life legislation to allow women to view their ultrasound prior to an abortion, if an ultrasound is performed. The bill would require the physician performing the procedure to offer the woman the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the unborn child as it is being done. I was pleased to vote in favor of this bill, which will provide women full access to accurate medical information before an abortion – empowering them to make the best decisions. As an unwavering pro-life advocate, I am hopeful this reform will help women avoid regretful abortions and give more unborn children the chance at life they deserve.
Illegal Protests Bill
Earlier in the week, the House passed a bill to increase the penalty for protesters who illegally obstruct highways, airports, or transit. While this bill always makes for a lot of opposition and attacks on law enforcement from Democrats, I think this a commonsense issue.
It is already illegal to block highways in Minnesota. This bill would simply increase the penalties for doing so, and it does nothing to outlaw activities that are currently legal. The First Amendment does not allow citizens to endanger others and put public safety at risk by protesting violently. Even Governor Dayton has publicly indicated his disapproval for illegally blocking roadways, and has urged demonstrators to lawfully and peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. I’m hopeful we can work together to get a bill signed into law that keeps law enforcement and every-day Minnesotans safer.
FGM Bill Update
My bill to protect girls from female genital mutilation and punish parents who force their children to undergo the procedure has already been passed by the House. Unfortunately, it still has not come before the Senate for a vote. With only about a week to go, I hopeful we can get this bill to the Senate floor in order to get it passed. This remains a top priority of mine, and I will continue to work to put an end to this barbaric practice in the time that remains this year.
Stay In Touch
In the final week of the legislative session, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue or bill that will come before me on the House floor. I can be reached via phone at 651-296-3201 or by email at email@example.com. I value your input and would love to hear from you.
I truly represent the best!