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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jim Nash (R)

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Legislative Update (March 6, 2017)

Monday, March 6, 2017

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Dear Neighbors,

Stay safe out there tonight. I saw that much of the Twin Cities and Southern Minnesota will be under a tornado watch. Be careful!

Apprenticeship Bill

Earlier today, I joined with a bipartisan group of legislators, tradesmen, and education administrators to discuss one my bills, HF1944. The bipartisan bill creates a VPSEO (Vocational Postsecondary Enrollment Options) pilot program where students take part in technical apprenticeships while gaining credit toward high school graduation.

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Students that don’t plan to attend college should be given the same opportunity to have great careers in a fulfilling job after high school as college-bound students. We hear from businesses from across the state that they have job openings, but not enough skilled applicants to fill them. This bill would benefit countless Minnesota students, while helping to fill the skilled labor shortage.

The bill would provide tax credits to businesses that take on apprenticed students from around the state with a third going to urban schools, a third to suburban schools, and a third to schools throughout Greater Minnesota. In 2020, following the pilot program, the commissioner of revenue will report back to the legislature on the effectiveness of the program.

If you’re interested in watching a video recap of today’s press conference, please click here. I’m scheduled to present this bill tomorrow morning in the Education Innovation Policy Committee.

Many thanks to Chair Jenifer Loon, Chair Sondra Erickson, Cathy Kleiman Thom, Reps. Barb Haley, Regina Barr, Anne Neu, Julie Sandstede, Superintendent Pat Devine and over a dozen members of education and trade groups for coming to the press conference.

I have a lot of BIPARTISAN support on this bill and it is moving fast in the House and Senate. If you're interested, stay tuned.

This is a whole new way to approach this, and I'm looking forward to seeing it become law.

Budget Surplus

Last week, we learned our state will have a $1.65 billion budget surplus. This is significantly larger than our last forecast of 2016. It’s crystal clear that the growing surplus means Minnesotans need tax relief. Residents throughout the state have been paying too much in their taxes, and we need to do what we can to make sure our budget isn’t growing faster than family budgets. In the House, it’s one of our tops goals to provide this overdue relief for hardworking residents throughout the state. If you have any thoughts about the surplus or tax relief, please contact me.

State Champions

This weekend, Waconia High School won two individual wrestling titles at the State Tournament in St. Paul. Congratulations to Garrett Vos and Tyler Wagener for becoming state champions! We’re proud of you guys!

Please Contact Me

We’re approaching the first committee deadline in the House. As things start to get busier, I hope you’ll continue to reach out if you need anything or if you want to share your opinion on anything we’re discussing.  

Have a great week,