Helping Deputy Registrars
The headaches caused by the vehicle licensing system MNLARS are too many to count. Those that have experienced the worst of it are our deputy registrars who have to try and navigate this system on a daily basis. Because of the delays and glitches, our registrars are struggling to stay afloat. Since the early days of MNLARS, I’ve heard from numerous registrars who are frustrated with the constant mishaps, and I’ve worked to lend a hand to these hardworking individuals.
That’s why yesterday the House passed a bill appropriating $9 million of existing funds within DVS to be divided by Minnesota registrars in need. It’s not their fault the state rolled out this dysfunctional system. While this doesn’t immediately make MNLARS workable, the bill will help those most impacted by the disastrous rollout.
Auditor Lawsuit Resolved
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling against State Auditor Rebecca Otto who was suing multiple Minnesota counties over a law we passed - and Governor Dayton signed into law - back in 2015. Our provision was simple. It allowed counties to contract with private CPA firms to conduct their required audits if a private firm could save taxpayer dollars. It was a common sense provision to save taxpayers money. Despite that, Auditor Otto insisted on challenging the law in court at the expense of Minnesotans’ wallets.
Thankfully, the unanimous ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court against Auditor Rebecca Otto upheld the constitutionality of the law. Auditor Otto’s expensive, taxpayer-funded, capricious lawsuit, and continued disregard for taxpayers because of a constitutional law she simply didn’t like, has caused years of unnecessary legal action at the expense of Minnesotans. I've worked hard on this issue and I'm gratified with the resounding ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
It’s the time of session where committees package small bills together in large proposals called omnibus bills. I’m extremely happy to have a number of my provisions included in these proposals. Two of my bills are part of our plan for the state government. The first requires all agencies to dedicate 3.5% of their spend on IT to be used toward cybersecurity. I’m leading the charge to ensure Minnesotans' data is protected by our state. The second requires MN.IT to seek outside proposals for enterprise software in order to buy software and not build it from scratch. Both of these ideas can help our agencies - as well as Minnesota taxpayers - in the long run.
Our education bill has my bill for a pilot program of what I call VPSEO. The program, which would take place in Waconia schools, helps students gain knowledge of trades or technical skills via internships and apprenticeships, all while gaining high school credit. It’s a great way to help our young people more easily enter the job market after graduation.
Similarly, my bill for more funding toward the Youth Skills Training Program is in our job growth proposal. Like VPSEO, the Youth Skills Training Program helps high school students learn an in-demand skill that can help them fill the current jobs gap in the tech and skilled labor industry.
Please Contact Me
Every day in St. Paul is a great opportunity to meet with citizens from our area who are advocating for their cause. I welcome your thoughts and ideas, and want to know what you think on any topic we’re discussing. I’m here to serve you, and hope you’ll call, email, or schedule a time to come to St. Paul to visit.
Enjoy your weekend and the warm weather that’s on the way,