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

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Legislative Update

Monday, May 7, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

Here is an update from the Capitol.

Supplemental Bills

In my last update, I talked about our Education/Higher Education supplemental bill that focused on school and student safety measures, as well as provided $1.6 million in funding for the Monticello School District to make them whole due to an error.

Last week, the House took up the remainder of our supplemental bills, addressing everything from investing in our state’s road and bridge infrastructure to helping lower health care costs for Minnesota families.

Here are some highlights from the bills we passed last week:


Last session, we made the largest transportation investment in state history without making Minnesotans pay more at the pump. This year, we’re following up on that commitment to fixing our roads and bridges, investing an additional $385 million for our transportation needs this year, using surplus funds leveraged with trunk highway bonds. A provision was also added to make two temporary lanes permanent on I-94 between Monticello and Clearwater when repairs are being done, saving the taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.


Last year, we implemented a number of meaningful reforms to address our state’s MNsure mess. This session, our Health and Human Services bill includes cutting the MNsure tax on health plans to help lower health care costs, combating the opioid epidemic, implementing a number of measures to protect vulnerable adults, addressing waste, fraud and abuse of public programs, and preventing an impending 7 percent cut to those who care for Minnesota’s disabled community through the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS).

Public Safety

The Public Safety bill includes my legislation that will strengthen DWI laws in Minnesota, requiring Ignition Interlock after a second DWI for at least one year. The bill also closes loopholes in Minnesota law surrounding criminal sexual misconduct, strengthens conditional release or probation terms for sex offenders from ten years to 25 years, and increases penalties for child pornography possession and dissemination. Furthermore, the bill also increases the penalties for protestors who illegally obstructs highways, airports or transit systems, and increases the penalties for assaulting law enforcement from a gross misdemeanor to a felony.


This bill provides funding to combat Chronic Wasting Disease in Minnesota, and brings greater legislative oversight to state agencies.


This bill addresses the needs of the agriculture community, including investing in mental health counseling for farmers and rural professionals, and $35 million in bonding revenue for agriculture loans through the Rural Finance Authority.

Jobs and Energy

In this bill, there are measures to lower energy costs for Xcel Energy ratepayers by reducing their contribution to the state’s renewable development account, as well as measures to help disabled veterans receive job skills through centers for independent living.

State Government

Perhaps most importantly, the State Government bill funds three new critically-needed Minnesota veterans homes, paid for with excess Stadium Reserve Funds.

I believe these supplemental bills do a number of important things for families, small businesses, veterans, citizens and hardworking taxpayers, and that we focused on Minnesotans’ shared priorities as we put these proposals together. As we head into negotiations with the Senate and Governor Dayton on these bills, I will keep you updated on the latest news.

Corridors of Commerce

On Tuesday, May 1, MnDOT announced awards of more than $400 million in Corridors of Commerce projects including up to $62 million for Highway 94 from St. Michael to Albertville. The project will expand I-94 to six lanes between Highway 241 in St. Michael and County Road 19 in Albertville, as well as make interchange improvements at Highway 241, County Road 27, and County Road 19.

For commuters, for commerce and for the flow of traffic in our communities, expanding I-94 to three lanes in each direction is critical. I am pleased that MnDOT chose the St. Michael/Albertville project to receive Corridors of Commerce funding, listening to the public, local government leaders and stakeholders about the significant need for infrastructure improvements in this part of the state.

I worked to help create the Corridors of Commerce Program during my freshman year at the Legislature in 2013. I was also a strong advocate for expanding I-94 between Rogers and St. Cloud, as well as improving the section of I-94 between Rogers and St. Michael, which was completed in record time.

I am pleased that Corridors of Commerce has been a successful program since its implementation. Our part of the state has greatly benefited from these vital transportation investments.


As always, if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government or have concerns or ideas about legislation, 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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