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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, February 5, 2021

Dear Friends,

This week Gov. Walz pushed the creation of a SAFE Account primarily to help fund Minneapolis’s response during the upcoming Derek Chauvin trial, several companies in our communities received broadband funding, and Democrats introduced a radical measure to make the mask mandate law.

SAFE Account

Gov. Walz’s is advocating for the DFL bill that creates a $35 million SAFE (State Aid for Emergencies) Account to reimburse local governments for public unrest. This bill is being put forward in anticipation of the law enforcement resources that will be necessary in Minneapolis to keep everyone safe during the Chauvin trial.

I will always stand up for our law enforcement. They deserve our support and we need to make sure they have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.Minneapolis needs to accept the consequences for reducing the size and defunding their police force. This bill puts the rest of Minnesota on the hook for that city’s decision to not have adequate public safety resources in place.

We have heard from Minnesota’s leading law enforcement agencies that their members are more concerned about growing anti-police sentiment than they are about funding. Without addressing these safety concerns or the anti-police sentiment fostered by the DFL, agencies will be less likely to respond to calls for backup during the trial.

The rioting we saw last summer under the failed leadership of Gov. Walz and Mayor Frey cannot happen again. We must address the safety concerns of our law enforcement while also ensuring they have the resources they need to keep Minneapolis, and other communities, safe during this high-profile trial.

Broadband Grants

I was so pleased to learn that several communities and companies in our area are receiving grants to expand broadband access through Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program. West Lake Carlos and Lake Osakis in addition to Ida, Carlos, Alexandria, and La Grand Townships all received funding to help unserved or underserved households and businesses.

Broadband access is critical to our communities in Douglas county. Living and working from home during COVID-19 has only highlighted the need for reliable and affordable internet connections. These projects are critical to our communities and the Border-to-Border program is important for our area and state.

Mask Mandate Bill

In a crazy bill introduction this week, Democrats moved to make the state mask mandate law. If passed, the mask wearing law would only expire once the CDC and commissioner of health ruled that masks were no longer needed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

I will fight against this bill and I urge you to email other lawmakers to do the same. We cannot allow this mask mandate to become a permanent law.

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 at either 651-296-3201 or I would love to hear from you.

It’s an honor to represent the best!