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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

It was another busy week at the Capitol as committees worked hard to complete work in time for the week-long Easter/Passover break that begins on Friday. As for myself, I am looking forward to spending next week with family as we celebrate Easter. I hope that you are able to spend time with your family as well this holiday season.

Last week, the House passed legislation that addresses some of the issues plaguing the MNLARS system. Included in the legislation is $10 million in emergency funding that the Governor’s office says must be allocated in order for necessary fixes to proceed.

The Governor had initially asked for $43 million, but we were able to get that number down to $10 million.

In addition to the funding, the bill also implements some transparency measures and performance metrics to ensure that your tax dollars are being spent efficiently.

I am hopeful that last week’s legislation is the first step in bringing this disaster to a close.   

On Tuesday, I had a bill heard before the House Public Safety Committee that would increase the criminal penalty for individuals that drive without a valid driver’s license in certain circumstances.

More specifically, individuals that are driving on an invalid driver’s license that cause a crash that results in substantial bodily harm or death OR if the driver commits the same violation for a third and subsequent time within ten years of the first violation and the person’s loss of driving privileges was the result of a qualifying offense.

This is a bill that I have been working on here in St. Paul for a few years now. The inspiration for this bill was brought to me by a constituent whose daughter and granddaughter were seriously injured in 2015 when a car operated by an individual with a suspended license crossed the center line of a highway in Crow Wing County, causing a head on collision.

When the time came to sentence the individual, current law did not allow for what many consider to be a suitable punishment for the crime.

Finally, a lot of headway is being made on legislation to improve school safety and access to mental health care. Following the tragedy in Florida lawmakers have made it a priority to get something done to make sure our students are safe and able to access the mental health care they need.

There are a number of bills currently working their way through the process and I’d expect some of them to reach the floor sometime this session.

That’s all for this week, as always, I encourage you to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

Have a great weekend,