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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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News from Dave

Friday, May 25, 2018

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Dear Neighbors,

Session Concludes

On Sunday, we finished the 2018 legislative session at the Capitol. We passed legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, cut taxes, and increase funding for schools. Sadly, Governor Dayton vetoed our major bills, hurting Minnesotans as a result.

It’s incredibly sad and disheartening to see the governor veto our bills to fight the opioid epidemic, increase funding for schools, help our deputy registrars, and more. Our proposals came more than halfway, and were legitimate attempts at bipartisanship for the sake of Minnesotans. A good compromise is when neither side is completely happy with the outcome.

The governor couldn’t even name three provisions he objected to, but apparently that was enough to throw away help to countless Minnesotans in need. Some of the people who will be hurt by the vetoes include:

  • Victims of elder abuse & opioid addiction – vetoed fixes for these problems areas
  • Victims of distracted driving – vetoed strengthening penalties
  • People with disabilities, and their caretakers – vetoed fix to federal 7% cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System
  • Citizens & deputy vehicle registrars – vetoed help with dealing with MNLARS hassles
  • K-12 students – vetoed school safety funding, support for Head Start and Special Education programs
  • Minnesota Taxpayers – vetoed a fix that was fair to everyone, now a large number of Minnesotans will see major increased in their next year’s state income tax bill
  • Low-income working families – vetoed state help on federal child care subsidies
  • Patients – vetoed transparent pricing for health care and prescription drugs
  • Businesses and farmers – vetoed Section 179 conformity for equipment depreciation

Opioid Update

As you know, I’ve been working tirelessly in St. Paul to combat the opioid epidemic. I had a bill this year to bring those responsible for this issue, the pharmaceutical companies, to the table to help pay for solutions. These companies need to start helping our state work toward preventing opioid abuse and addiction. I wasn’t able to get this passed this year, but it’s not something I’m ever going to give up on.

We did have great opioid-related provisions in our budget bill that was vetoed. It’s hard to understand the veto of these important provisions. Though we couldn’t pass the fee increases on pharmaceutical companies, I felt our opioid proposals were a much preferable option to doing nothing this session. In the end, the veto will have an enormous negative impact in our fight against opioid addiction. We took one step forward and the veto brings us two steps back. This fight can be exhausting at times.

 I’ll continue to work for families like ours, for my son Dan, and to help prevent others from losing a loved one. It can be an uphill battle, but I know it’s worth fighting for. The stakes are too great to give up now.

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Highway 23

Some good news from the end of session is that funding for Highway 23 was included in our bonding bill. I’m ecstatic to see funding for Highway 23 in our proposal. We’ve been waiting so long for these needed dollars, and it’ll have a big impact on our area. The governor has said he won’t take action on any bills until next week, but when he does, I really hope he signs this into law.

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Governor’s Fishing Opener

Thanks to all the volunteers, local businesses, and organizations who helped make the Governor’s Fishing Opener so special in our area! I think we really showed the genuine hospitality and welcoming attitude of Kandiyohi County residents. We had good weather, and I loved seeing some of the out-of-town guests catch some fish.

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Memorial Day

This long weekend, be sure to say a prayer for the men and women who lost their lives serving the United States of America. Memorial Day is a somber time, but it’s important to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.