Here is an update from the Capitol.
Last week, the House unanimously passed a bill I co-authored with my brother Rep. Brian Daniels. SF 417 clarifies and simplifies state law for professionally licensed engineers, allowing their license to satisfy state and local government requirements to perform any actions authorized by that license.
In recent years, engineers have faced an increasing number of certification requirements that cost them time and money, and are often duplicative and unnecessary with the license they already possess. Under the legislation, professional engineers would still need to receive additional certification if state law, rules or local ordinance determine it's necessary to protect health, life or property, or promote public welfare.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Dayton on May 7, 2015.
Higher Education Conference Committee
As the Vice Chair of the House Higher Education Committee, I have been chosen to serve on the conference committee to negotiate a final omnibus bill between the House and Senate. This bill will be then passed by both legislative bodies and sent to Governor Dayton for signature.
I am also proud to have authored a significant portion of the House's version of the Higher Education Omnibus Bill this year. My legislation that creates a uniform sexual assault policy for postsecondary institutions is in the bill which will improve student safety on campus by protecting, educating and empowering survivors of sexual assault.
I will keep you updated on the final version of the Higher Education Omnibus Bill and other omnibus legislation as we move closer to the end of session later this month.
Agriculture Omnibus Bill
On Monday, May 4, the House passed the Agriculture Omnibus Bill with strong bipartisan support. This bill will help protect our food supply, aid rural Minnesotans and farmers, and promote economic opportunities in agriculture across the state.
Some of the highlights in the bill include:
Funding for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Board of Animal Health to help combat and prevent avian flu which has devastated turkey farmers and their flocks
Paying unpaid claims to farmers due to wolf depredation for their livestock
Improving farm-to-foodshelf programs
Streamlining food safety regulations between MDA and the Minnesota Department of Health
Creating three production-based bioenergy grant programs through MDA which could contribute an estimated $837 million into our state's economy and create thousands of new jobs
The Agriculture Omnibus Bill is now in conference committee where the final legislation is being negotiated between the House and Senate.
Supporting Minnesota's Turkey Industry
On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, the House GOP Rural Caucus hosted a bipartisan Turkey Burger Feed at the Capitol to support the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and our state's poultry industry which has been devastated by the spread of avian flu.
Over 500 turkey burgers were given out in an hour, and legislators, volunteers and even the governor helped work the event.
It was a fun event for a great cause, and a wonderful reminder that turkey is still safe to eat!
As always, please feel free to contact me about any state legislative issue. 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.