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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Marion Rarick (R)

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Legislative Update

Monday, April 4, 2016

Dear Neighbor,

For anyone who has not yet taken my 2016 Legislative Survey, it's available to take online. I appreciate the opportunity to gather feedback from constituents about important issues being debated at the Capitol. Your opinions are valuable and guide me toward supporting legislation that best serves our community.

To take my survey, just go to this link:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Also, don't forget to share my survey with your friends and family in District 29B!


On Tuesday, the House passed a partial repeal of the 2009 law banning REAL ID implementation, allowing the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) to prepare for compliance with the federal law. DPS is now required to issue a report to the legislature within 14 days detailing the steps of carrying out REAL ID, associated costs and other necessary changes that will need to be made by the legislature. Additional action by the House and Senate will still be required before the full implementation of REAL ID can begin.

I know there are many people across the state concerned about how REAL ID will affect their travel plans, but please rest assured that your Minnesota driver's license will continue to be a valid form of identification to board an aircraft. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has indicated that the earliest enforcement of REAL ID will begin is 2018 with a possible extension until 2020 if states are on a path toward compliance. With expedited rulemaking authority, the goal is to have DPS issuing REAL ID compliant identification by October 1, 2016, so that Minnesotans will be able to renew their drivers' licenses on an existing renewal cycle without additional cost or hassle.

The DPS commissioner will also be seeking an immediate extension from the Department of Homeland Security so that a Minnesota-issued license will be valid identification to enter military and federal buildings.

Additionally, I have received a few inquiries from constituents about the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips as a part of REAL ID compliance, similar to what is already in some enhanced drivers' licenses. Most states who have implemented REAL ID do not have an RFID chip in their drivers' licenses and there is not a requirement in federal law to do so.

I will keep you updated on REAL ID compliance as this issue progresses this session.

Pilot Program for Student Debt

Last year, I spearheaded a new pilot program with Lutheran Social Services to give financial management advice to graduates who are delinquent on their student loan payments. Between October of 2015 and March 2016, the program has been very popular, serving 275 Minnesotans.

With any new program, however, there are small bugs to work out and last year's legislation required that students must be between 30-60 days delinquent on their loans before using the service. Many people seeking this service are trying to keep their head above water, and we would like to help them before it's too late. As a result, updated legislation this session will amend the pilot program to remove the 30-60 day delinquent requirement.

This program promotes personal responsibility instead of being bailed out by the state and taxpayers. It's a great bill to help people suffering with student debt financial management as well. The bill passed out of the Higher Education Committee and is on its way to the House Floor.

MNsure Complaint Website

Earlier this week, House Republicans in the State Government Finance Committee launched a website to gather feedback from Minnesotans who have been negatively impacted by our health care exchange, MNsure. From mailing out 1095-A tax forms late to being unable to easily update change of life information for people who get married or have a child, MNsure continues to fall well below expectations.

The stories about the real-life impact these MNsure failings have on Minnesotans is invaluable, as too often, these issues are not brought to light until constituents share their experience. MNsure must be held accountable to the people of our state, and if you have a personal experience you'd like to share, I encourage you to leave your comments on the new website here:

Additionally, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can ever be of assistance to you or your family on a matter related to MNsure.

Department of Revenue Legislation

In my update last week, I talked about legislation I am co-authoring to limit the assessment authority of the Commissioner of Revenue and establish a private letter ruling to help businesses better understand what tax laws are being applied to their audit case. This is both a priority of mine and a priority for the Small Business Caucus in an effort to rein in the Department of Revenue (DOR).

The bill received a hearing last week in the House Taxes Committee and garnered a lot of discussion. DOR raised a number of concerns about the bill, but as long as they continue to unnecessarily audit law-abiding small businesses, it is the job of legislators to hold them accountable.


If you need assistance an issue pertaining to state government, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 549 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.



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