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

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Legislative Update 4.12.24

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friends and Neighbors,


I hope you’re enjoying the first days of spring! It was yet another short week since the Legislature had an off day this Wednesday for Eid. Though it was a short week it was a busy one and I want to update you on two crucial measures: a bipartisan public safety bill and teacher pensions.

First, this week started off strong with the passage of the new public safety bill—a refreshing departure from the typical partisan bickering and outrageous proposals that too often paralyze our Capitol. I was happy to support this legislation, which was achieved through rare bipartisan cooperation and, importantly, steered clear of the radical measures like gun control. Instead, this bill is full of several Republican projects, small fixes that law enforcement leaders have been asking for, and support for tried-and-true public safety initiatives. These are critical steps in fortifying the safety and security of our communities, and it's a testament to what we can achieve when we sideline political theatrics in favor of practical, common-sense governance.

It isn’t all good news, however. Last session, despite “historic” education funding, many teachers are feeling left behind. Since 1989, we've seen a steady increase in the employee contribution rate to the teacher pension fund—from a modest 4.5% to a substantial 8% projected for 2025. While contributions have escalated, the promised improvements and benefits for our Tier 2 teachers have lagged or disappeared altogether. Notably, early retirement penalties have intensified, and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that once provided a semblance of financial security in retirement have been stripped away for many.

Last year, under the DFL majority, overspending was rampant, yet there was a glaring oversight in addressing the real needs of our educators. Instead of supporting our teachers with fair pension reforms, the legislature left them behind. This is more than just a financial issue; it's a matter of respect and fairness for those who educate our future generations.

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