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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, March 19, 2021

Dear Friends,

I regret to inform you that even though we are halfway through the legislative session, there is not much work to show for it. This is a historically unproductive session with the Do Nothing Democrats in charge. Until this week, the DFL majority had only passed 5 bills, the fewest at this point in session since at least 1995 (as far back as we can find on the House website.) They have also processed the fewest number of committee reports since 2011.

Because House Republicans called them out for their ineptitude earlier in the week, we suddenly had a rush of bills to pass on Thursday. Get this: the total number of bills passed after yesterday's floor session is TEN.

The bills passed yesterday all had overwhelmingly bipartisan support. As much as the two sides enjoy debating, we all love getting things done for Minnesotans.
It is unbelievable that in a year where so many have made tremendous sacrifices – shuttering businesses, distance learning, cancelling family celebrations – that we have not been able to accomplish more under the DFL-controlled House. Republicans keep fighting to pass important, timely legislation like PPP conformity and summer school funding, but Democrats don’t see the urgency. They don’t see that our businesses need to know now how much they need to pay when they fill out their taxes. They don’t see that schools need to know now if they will be able to have summer learning. They don’t see that families need to know now if they can plan their June weddings. My inbox is flooded every week from businesses, schools, and concerned citizens about the need to act quickly to help Minnesotans through this uncertain time. You can’t tell me my DFL colleagues haven’t heard similar concerns from their constituents.

Republicans get to work, but DFL won’t join

This week Republicans had enough with the lack of progress under DFL control. We brought forward key bills and issues that need to be addressed and forced the DFL to vote.

•    SAFE Account: Gov. Walz and the DFL are pushing a $35 million SAFE Account to help local governments during a public safety emergency. Many anticipate these funds will be needed during the Chauvin trial. The House DFL’s proposal has failed twice and they are refusing to support our compromise plan that’s even supported by the Star Tribune (I know, you don’t see that every day.) The House DFL couldn’t vote to stand with law enforcement.

•    PPP loan conformity: Unless we forgive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Minnesota will be the only state in the Upper Midwest to tax these funds. The Senate was able to pass PPP conformity with a veto-proof majority (55-12). The House DFL couldn’t vote to support Minnesota businesses.

•    Unemployment Insurance: House Republicans moved to exempt $10,200 in Unemployment Insurance income, the same exempted by the federal government. The House DFL couldn’t vote to support unemployed Minnesotans.

•    Summer School: Our kids have suffered so much from a year of distance learning. Many school districts want to offer summer school to get our students back on track. In order to plan for summer offerings, school districts need to know if they will have funding. The House DFL couldn’t vote to support students.

World Down Syndrome Day

Sunday, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day. It is so important that we remember that all human life is valuable, and that we are more alike than we are different. World Down Syndrome Day is a day to highlight the many significant contributions that people with Down syndrome make to their communities every day. We must continue to provide opportunities for people with Down Syndrome to live fulfilling lives and continue to positively impact communities all around the world.

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!

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