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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Bliss (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings from the House, where I continue keeping a close eye on the proposed transfer of White Earth State Forest land to the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. While there hasn’t been any real movement on this issue of late, there could be cracks forming over in the Senate. It’s important to stay vigilant on this subject.

In other news:

More Anti-Second Amendment bills

I have written extensively about H.F. 601 (theft) and H.F. 4300 (storage) this session, but two more anti-Second Amendment bills received committee hearings in the House this week. They include:

H.F. 2828, which allows local governments to prohibit or restrict a person from carrying a firearm on government-owned property.

H.F. 3672, which transfers firearm regulations away from the state to local governing bodies, allowing municipalities and counties to regulate the use and possession of firearms. This would result in a patchwork of firearm laws across our state and lead to potentially unconstitutional proposals by governing bodies.

While I have concerns with both of these bills, the latter is the most radical. Firearm preemption laws were created to prevent political groups from enacting local law that is not consistent with state law. By eliminating preemption laws, the House majority would seriously jeopardize our Second Amendment rights and take away the clear uniformity we now have across Minnesota. This is yet another bill that could turn honest, good-faith gun owners into criminals.

House deadlines

In a scheduling quirk, the first and second deadlines for bills are the same day this session: March 22. The first deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills in the House of origin. But that’s a moot point, since this year we jump right to the second deadline, which stipulates committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other body.

School resource officers

Last week, I mentioned the Minnesota House had approved a bill to resolve last year’s change in law which caused school resource officers to be removed from schools throughout the state. After a hiccup in the Senate on Monday, the bill came back to the House for a vote on final passage and was approved 119-9. It now should be on the path to enactment.

On the radar

Full-time Legislature: House Democrats are now pushing legislation that would make Minnesota the 11th state to have a full-time Legislature.

$1M to help LGBTQ relocate in MN: House Democrats have authored a bill providing $1 million in tax dollars for nonprofits to help LGBTQ individuals and their families move to Minnesota.

Ban on rainbow flag prohibition: House Democrats recently conducted a hearing for a bill that prohibits towns, home rule charter and statutory cities, counties, school districts, and any other political subdivision from removing or banning the display of rainbow flags.

I oppose all three of these proposals and would prefer this is the last we hear of them.

Have a good weekend and please stay in touch.



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