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

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Legislative Update (3-27-15)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

On Monday, House and Senate Republicans unveiled our comprehensive, future oriented proposal for transportation improvements in Minnesota. The Road and Bridge Act of 2015, is a ten year approach that prioritizes road and bridge infrastructure by investing $7 billion in repairs, replacements, and upgrades without raising taxes.

Our plan creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects proceeds from dedicated tax revenues that already exist. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:

  • Road and Bridge Account – revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts
  • Metro Capital Improvements Account – revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles
  • Small Cities Account – revenue from existing rental vehicle tax
  • Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
  • Suburban County Highway Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax

In addition to the funds provided by the Transportation Stability Fund, our proposal uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning MNDOT resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.

Our proposal is in contrast to Governor Dayton and Democrats’ plan which relies on a new 6.5 percent sales tax on gasoline at the wholesale level to fund their transportation plan. This 6.5 percent tax would cause gas prices to rise a minimum of 16 cents/gallon with that number increasing as the cost of gas rises.

Raising taxes should not be the only solution on the table to address this problem. That’s why our long-term plan will repair or replace nearly 15,500 lane miles and 330 bridges without increasing the burden on hardworking Minnesotans.

Hemp Bill Receives Second and Third Hearings

My bill, House File 683, which would authorize the production of industrial hemp and establish a state regulatory structure for its production, received its second hearing and was passed by the Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee on Tuesday with bipartisan support. On Thursday, the bill received its third hearing before the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee where it was also approved.

Minnesota has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of an emerging industry that will have exceptional benefits for Greater Minnesota and our state as a whole. Not only would it open new opportunities for farmers and those in the agriculture industry, it would move our state toward allowing for local sourcing of many products made from hemp fibers. These fibers can be used in textiles, rope, food, clothing, paper, insulation, and building materials.

2015 Legislative Survey

I encourage all of you to complete my 2015 legislative survey. You can take the survey by going to my House webpage and clicking the “2015 Legislative Survey” link on the right-hand side of the screen.

It is my hope that as many constituents as possible complete my survey and weigh in on some of the important issues that are being debated at the Capitol. I am anxiously awaiting your feedback.

If you would prefer to fill out the survey by hand, please contact my office and we will mail a paper copy to your address.

Schedule for Upcoming Town Halls

Senator Ingebrigtsen and I will be holding town hall meetings on Tuesday, March 31st at various locations throughout the district. I look forward to these meetings as it give me an opportunity to meet with and discuss the issues that are most important to you. The schedule for the day is below.


Shoreline Restaurant

505 Lake Avenue North

Battle Lake, MN 56515


Henning Community Center

607 2nd Street

Henning, MN 56551


Travelers Inn

511 Broadway St.

Alexandria, MN 56308

Staying in Touch

As always, please feel free to contact me via 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: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.