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

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Merry Christmas from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, December 22, 2023

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas! I hope you and your loved ones have a joyful, peaceful, and happy holiday season! I know I am looking forward to spending extra time with my family and friends this Christmas.

Christmas 1 - 2023

New State Flag, Seal Designs

This week, the State Emblems Redesign Commission came to its final selection on the new state flag. The new design was chosen by a panel of 13 voting members with few opportunities for public input. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the old (on left) and new (on right) designs for the state seal and flag.

I’ve heard a lot of different takes on the new emblems, and there seems to be broad bipartisan criticism of the new flag. From the former DFL Majority Leader’s lukewarm opinion to some calling it a “Hypoxic Pac-Man,” what are your thoughts?

If the legislature does not act next session to block the adoption of the new flag and seal, these emblems will be implemented on May 11, Statehood Day.

Old and new designs for state flag and seal

New Laws Take Effect January 1

The new year marks the implementation date of several new laws that passed during the 2023 legislative session. Remember: When Minnesota had a historic $17.5 billion surplus, Democrats raised taxes by $10 billion dollars and spent your surplus tax dollars to expand government by 40%. Many of the new laws that will take effect in 2024 reflect the Democrats’ expensive and extreme policies. These include:

  • Earned Sick and Safe Time. Though different from the expensive and expansive Paid Medical and Family Leave bill that also passed last session, the changes to earned sick and safe time will greatly impact our job creators and workers. The law will require all employers to offer full paid time off, and it applies to any employers with one or more employees. It covers all employees, including part-time and temporary workers. The Department of Labor and Industry has put together a helpful FAQ page for any job creators who still have questions about this new law.
  • Menstrual Products for Schools. All students in public or charter schools will now have access to free menstrual products in bathrooms. These products must be available for all students in grades 4 to 12. 
  • Political Contribution Refund (PCR) Increases. Among many of the changes to Minnesota’s election laws that Democrats passed last session is an increase to the PCR program. The individual political contribution refund will increase from $50 to $75, and joint married filers will have an increase of $100 to $150. These increased refunds will be applicable to any donations made after January 1, 2024.
  • Specialty License Plates Available. For one of the more fun things that passed last session, you will be able to show your support for Minnesota’s six professional sports teams with your license plate. Options include the Vikings, Wild, Twins, Timberwolves, Lynx, and United.

You can learn about other laws that will take effect in the new year here.

One-party control of our state is not serving the people of Minnesota well. Family budgets are being stretched thin by higher prices for gas, groceries, and energy bills. St. Paul is in desperate need of balance so we can put Minnesotans, and their pocketbooks, first once again.