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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, February 17, 2023

Dear Friends,

It was another week of Democrats extreme policies. Every day members sit in committee and hear more about Democrats' plans to fundamentally transform Minnesota. Keep reading to learn more about those proposed changes from the week.

Also note that a bonding bill is currently moving through the House. In order to pass a bonding bill, we need agreement from the Senate. I hope they will come to the table so we can fund critical infrastructure projects in our state.

Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Small business has got to go

Last night we debated Democrats’ Earned Sick and Safe Time bill. This bill will crush Minnesota’s job creators with one-size-fits all mandates while they are still trying to recover from COVID shutdowns amidst struggles with inflation, the supply chain, and workforce shortages. This mandate is more extreme than local ordinances in Minneapolis, Bloomington, and Duluth and goes far beyond other states’ paid sick time laws.

We cannot cause more headache for Minnesota’s job creators. The penalties in this bill, up to $10,000, are outrageous and unaffordable for small businesses. Democrats also have a Paid Family Leave bill moving through committees that will further hurt our Main Street businesses. It certainly sounds like the DFL is chanting: “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Small business has got to go.”

Recreational Marijuana Bill 

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana is moving its way through nearly every committee in the House. I am worried that the concerns being raised by Republicans are not being addressed.

There will be many public health and safety issues if Minnesota legalizes recreational marijuana. For example, this bill has no protections against using herbicides or pesticides when growing cannabis. That means someone could find themselves inadvertently smoking pesticides if they smoke recreational marijuana. This is one of countless potentially dangerous situations that is not accounted for in the current bill. Democrats are refusing to work with Republicans, even when we bring amendments to strengthen their legislation. The minority has an important role in government, but the majority is shutting us out.

National Popular Vote

Last week, Secretary of State Steve Simon was in committee testifying in favor of a bill that would make Minnesota a part of an interstate compact that favors electing the U.S. president by the national popular vote. The Founding Fathers are turning in their graves. They created the electoral college to empower the states to have a voice in our presidential elections.

Democrats want to silence the voice of the minority in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and they want to silence the voice of many Americans in choosing our president. The National Popular Vote manipulates the Constitution and would empower the elites on the east and west coasts to decide our elections. They want to shutout Middle America in our elections and silence us. I will vote no when this bill comes to the floor.

2nd Amendment Under Attack  

There are several gun bills currently moving through the House that would limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners, including a bill creating red flag laws in Minnesota. Many argue that red flag laws keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But as the author of the bill even admitted, this bill will not stop crime. You can watch that exchange here.

Your constitutional rights cannot be infringed, and I will stand against these extreme gun control measures.

Democrats Fully Fund Fraud

On Monday the House passed two bills that were more focused on fully funding fraud than fully funding education. The first bill provided funding for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). As you may recall, in recent years it was discovered that CCAP had $100 million in fraudulent grants. It is astonishing that Democrats brought forward a bill that would continue signing hundreds of millions in checks to a program with known issues. They can’t even say with certainty that the problems are solved with CCAP! I voted against continuing to fund fraud.

Another bill combined funding for early learning scholarships and childcare stabilization grants. Early learning scholarships are a great approach to childcare and early education as they put parents in the driver’s seat when determining their child’s education. However, childcare stabilization grants have their own history of fraud. Childcare centers linked to groups indicted by federal authorities received these grants. Centers facing license revocations are also funded with these grants.

We need to be targeting funds and providing care for families most in need. Democrats want to just write blank checks. That is just fiscally irresponsible. I voted against these bills.