Attending the holiday programs always gives me a chance to talk to people and share in the holiday spirit. The school programs this year have been wonderful and I am grateful for the opportunities to see our children perform and smile in anticipation of finding their mom or dad in the audience as they perform Christmas songs. In this week before the Christmas holiday, I do wish you and your family good times together.
Child Protection Task Force
On a legislative note, I have been working on a couple of important issues in anticipation of the session. One of the more complex and important issues has been the Governor's Child Protection Task Force. The group has been meeting twice a month and the first draft of recommendations were released at the last meeting. The group has uncovered much of the good work that is done within the Child Protection system, law enforcement, and medical professions.
The dark side is that we as a society have a long way to go to protect all of our children. Too many parents still make poor and abusive decisions. I am proud to work on this task force and I believe we will be able to make some improvements to our current laws that will help bolster our efforts to keep all children safe from abuse or harm.
Committee assignments have been released for the session, and I'm looking forward to serving on the four committees for 2015-2016; Education Innovation Policy, Commerce and Regulatory Reform, Rules and Legislative Administration, and Education Finance, the committee I will serve on as Vice Chair.
The committee process is where the legislative sausage gets made, and my committee assignments will give me an opportunity to address a number of key issues surrounding education and job creation in the upcoming session.
Next session one of the items that is likely to be addressed early on is approving disaster relief funding to help counties cover the costs of cleanup and rebuilding efforts from flooding last summer.
Morrison County is one of three counties that were left out of the federal disaster declaration, and would benefit from disaster relief funding. I plan to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate and hope we can find an acceptable way to provide disaster relief funds to the affected counties. I will keep you updated on the status of the disaster relief funding once session begins.
Have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year.
State Representative, District 09B