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

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Legislative Update From Rep. Franson

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dear Friends,

It looks like a beautiful Memorial Day weekend with sunshine and warm temperatures is ahead of us. As we enjoy the weather and other activities, it’s important to take some time to remember the reason for this holiday by honoring and remembering the many brave Americans who have given their lives for our nation’s freedom.  We must never forget their sacrifices.

As for legislative news, on Sunday we wrapped up the 2018 legislative session by passing and sending to the governor a tax conformity and education funding bill, a supplemental budget bill, a bonding bill, and a pension bill.

Earlier this week, Governor Dayton chose to put politics above the needs of Minnesotans as he vetoed the tax/school funding bill and supplemental budget bill. These vetoes are extremely disappointing, as they will have far-reaching consequences that will negatively impact millions of Minnesotans. The legislature made a good-faith effort to compromise and made significant concessions, removing nearly 70 percent of the governor’s stated objections. The governor’s unwillingness to earnestly engage in the negotiating process with the legislature demonstrates his disinterest in true compromise. These bills contained a host of critically important provisions, and it’s a shame that countless Minnesotans will suffer because of the governor’s political gamesmanship and erratic behavior.

The tax conformity and education bill were part of an effort to find compromise with the governor on each of our respective top priorities. House Republicans’ federal tax conformity plan protected taxpayers, simplified Minnesota's tax code, and provided the first income tax rate cut in nearly two decades. The bill also made available more than $225 million to help students—nearly $100 million more than what the governor requested, providing new money and additional flexibility for school districts to address budget shortfalls.

Meanwhile, the supplemental budget bill contained shared priorities like ensuring safe schools—a top priority of both Republicans and the governor this year, repairing roads and bridges, tackling the opioid epidemic, protecting aging and vulnerable adults, and preventing a cut to the wages of caregivers of disabled Minnesotans.

Unfortunately, as a result of these harmful vetoes, none of this will happen this year. Below is a list of the groups of people who will be negatively affected by the governor’s vetoes:

  • Victims of elder abuse & opioid addiction – vetoed fixes for these problems areas
  • People with disabilities, and their caretakers – vetoed fix to federal 7% cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System
  • Citizens & deputy vehicle registrars – vetoed help with dealing with MNLARS hassles
  • Farmers and businesses – vetoed Section 179 conformity for equipment depreciation
  • Rural residents – vetoed funding for high-speed internet expansion
  • K-12 students – vetoed school safety funding, support for Head Start and Special Education programs
  • Minnesota Taxpayers – vetoed a fix that was fair to everyone, now a large number of Minnesotans will see major increased in their next year’s state income tax bill
  • Low-income working families – vetoed state help on federal child care subsidies
  • Patients – vetoed transparent pricing for health care and prescription drugs
  • Victims of distracted driving – vetoed strengthening penalties

The governor’s decision also blocks legislation to prevent a 7 percent wage cut for staff that care for Minnesota’s disabled community.  This provision would have provided money through grants to ensure care providers don’t see their wages fall starting in July as a result of cuts in federal aid.  It is essential that the DWRS program is funded. Home based community services are already struggling to keep qualified staff due to low wages, and adding a 7 percent cut will only exacerbate the problem. Our bill would have reinstated the funding that is desperately needed, and was a top priority for the advocates and myself. Every year we hear from the governor about the need to fully fund our schools – our most vulnerable also deserve to be funded.

Still awaiting the governor’s action is the infrastructure-heavy, geographically balanced bonding bill that the House passed. This package prioritizes statewide infrastructure projects, such as roads and bridges and water infrastructure. It also dedicates funding for the construction of three new veterans homes in greater Minnesota, and provides funding for the renovation of existing homes.

Despite these vetoes, we have accomplished a number of positive things for Minnesota over the past two years, including the largest tax cut in nearly two decades for hardworking taxpayers, the largest investment in roads and bridges in state history without a gas tax increase, major funding boosts for education, and reforms to lower health care costs for Minnesota families.

Staying in Touch

It was a privilege to work for you at the Capitol this legislative session. Although session is over, please feel free this summer to reach out with any questions or concerns that you have on any issue relating to state government. I can be reached via phone at 651-296-3201 or by email at

I truly represent the best!

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