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

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Legislative Update From Rep. Franson

Friday, February 15, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to an enjoyable weekend. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with county commissioners and officials from Otter Tail and Douglas Counties during Minnesota Counties Day at the Capitol. Thank you to the group that made the trip down to St. Paul.

FGM Amendment

During a Health and Human Services committee hearing earlier this week, I successfully offered an amendment to include female genital mutilation in a bill addressing domestic and sexual violence. FGM is sexual violence and any bill addressing these issues must include this barbaric practice. I was pleased that the committee approved this amendment and am encouraged by this development.

I am still working to get a hearing for my bill to protect girls from FGM by holding liable Minnesota parents who force their daughters to undergo the practice. This is a major piece of legislation and one that will make a big difference but, again, this amendment is a start. As always, I will continue working tirelessly to put an end to FGM and ensure girls are safe from its horrors.

Care Provider Wage Cut

On two occasions this week, House Democrats voted to advance legislation that would codify in state law a 7 percent cut for Disability Waiver Rate System rates. These rates are the basis for payments for services provided to Minnesotans with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and those with other home and community-based care needs. The ultimate result of this move would be lower wages for the people who care for disabled Minnesotans, resulting in a lower quality of care for these patients.

Rural Minnesota is already experiencing an urgent crisis for staff to care for disabled individuals, resulting in facilities being closed and a lack of care accessibility. Democrats’ votes this week were votes to cut care providers’ wages which would seriously endanger access to the care and facilities that disabled Minnesotans need.

With the healthy budget surplus our state currently has, it is appalling that Democrats would vote to solidify a cut for Minnesota's most vulnerable citizens. Democrats have been talking a lot about wage theft this year, so I don’t understand why they would turn around and do this to care providers. These actions disrespect the human dignity and self-worth of the Minnesotans who need the funding provided by this program. They deserve better and rely on the critical services that are jeopardized by these senseless cuts. Please know I am committed to prioritizing those with disabilities, rather than cutting their funding.

This legislation is far from the finish line, so I am hopeful we can work to prevent it from making it any farther this legislative session. I encourage you to please contact the Democrats on the House Health and Human Services Finance Division on this crucial issue. A committee roster with contact info can be found by clicking here.


On Thursday, the non-partisan Legislative Auditor released a report detailing the countless problems and missteps that were taken during the disastrous rollout of our state’s troubled licensing system known as MNLARS. One of the big takeaways from the report was the lack of accountability and systemic failures of former Democratic Governor Mark Dayton’s state agencies.

I am hopeful that the legislature can move forward and address the problems facing this system during this year’s session. Minnesotans deserve a licensing system that works. I hope that any funding to fix this boondoggle also includes relief for deputy registrars who have suffered financial losses and headaches because of the failures of MNLARS. In addition, before the legislature provides any more taxpayer money to this project, it is imperative that we see a detailed plan of exactly how the funds are to be used.

Please Contact Me

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached via phone at 651-296-3201 or by email at

It’s an honor to represent the best!

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