With the May 20 adjournment deadline fast approaching, Democrats in the legislature are making one last effort at unionizing in-home childcare providers. Last night (Thursday, May 2), the House Ways and Means Committee passed childcare unionization – the worst bill of the legislative session and that’s saying something – on a 17-14 vote with all Republicans and a few Democrats voting no. The next stop is the House floor. I’ll let you know when that vote is scheduled.
The one bit of good news came this week when DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen said that no gun control bills would come to the floor for a vote this session. Great news for the Second Amendment! But don’t get too comfortable. We still have another legislative session in 2012 where there will be more time for gun control proponents to come up with a bill. For now, let’s consider this a temporary victory.
The other piece of good news is that the Omnibus Liquor bill passed the House on a strong bipartisan vote of 103-24. The bill contains a provision I authored that allows Panther Distillery in Osakis (the state’s only whiskey distillery) to allow product samples up to 15 milliliters per customer on site tours. Great for business and spirit connoisseurs alike! Cheers!
This week, I met with providers from Knute Nelson Homecare. I was disappointed to inform them that the Health and Human Services omnibus bill that passed the House Democrats had a $26 million baseline cut to long-term care facilities. Our most vulnerable citizens and those who care for them deserve better than what Democrats in St. Paul are offering. I’m eager to see if the HHS conference committee bill keeps those funding cuts in place. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
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I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.