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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, March 17, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

Last week, House and Senate Republicans introduced our plan to improve public safety in Minnesota. The plan includes 17 GOP bills that focus on confronting the criminal threat, supporting police, and overhauling our court system to require more transparency and accountability.

It’s no secret that crime has risen dramatically, especially in the Twin Cities. While we don’t live in the metro area, many of us travel there often for shopping, to go to a game, or to spend a weekend in the city. We also have loved ones that call the metro home. That’s why it’s so important to address these issues.

A few specific proposals include:

  • Making carjacking a crime
  • Increasing penalties for fleeing police in a motor vehicle
  • Increasing sentences for those convicted of at least two prior crimes of violence
  • Aligning fentanyl to the same weight thresholds and penalties as heroin
  • Increasing sworn officers on Metro Transit
  • Increasing the penalty for transferring a firearm to an ineligible person and requiring a court to ensure someone who has been ordered to give up their firearms has indeed done so
  • Mandatory minimum sentences for criminals who commit crimes with a firearm

We are now more than two months into session and Democrats have yet to pass any bills that improve or even address public safety. Instead, they continue to go easy on criminals while doing nothing for victims. This is unacceptable and it’s time to get serious about public safety.

Light Rail Boondoggle

On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Auditor released an audit of the Metropolitan Council’s management of Southwest Light Rail project. The report focused on the construction of the project and found that the Metropolitan Council “obligated funds it did not have, did not develop a contingency plan if the funds did not materialize, and was not fully transparent about project costs and delays.” 

This project has been plagued by delays and cost overruns and is now expected to be the most expensive public works project in Minnesota's history. The project is now 10 years behind schedule and almost $1 billion over budget. The current projected opening date is 2027.

Wednesday’s report shows that the Metropolitan Council has misled and mismanaged this project from the very beginning.

It’s time to end the charade and stop this project once-and-for-all and I will continue pushing hard to protect your tax dollars.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

God bless,