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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Barb Haley (R)

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Capitol Update

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hello from St. Paul,

I presented a bill in the Education Innovation Policy Committee that would match some state funding with private financial support to the Educational Partnership Coalition. This coalition includes the Minneapolis Achievement Zone, the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood, Red Wing’s own Every Hand Joined, the Northfield Promise and others. The EPC groups are rigorous, data-driven and locally based initiatives that support students and families from pre-K through graduation and career readiness. The stories that were told during the testimony were inspiring and proof that they are making an impact on student success!

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Tonight, I will be on TPT’s Almanac as a part of a “First Term Legislator Panel” at 7:00 PM. I hope you can tune in!

Zip Rail:

I joined Representative Drazkowski as a co-author of a bill that would prohibit any taxpayer dollars from being spent to build a high-speed rail line from Rochester to the Twin Cities. The bill originated from concerns brought to us by citizens who live in the Cannon Falls area and along highway 52 where the rail line was proposed. The bill would ban eminent domain from being used to obtain land in order to build the line and provides for other taxpayer protections.  The bill was heard this week in the Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee and will be heard in Taxes Committee next. Senator Mike Goggin is the chief author in the Senate. 

Does State Government Owe You Money?:

Each year, the Minnesota Department of Commerce receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property. The property is turned over to the state by businesses, banks, etc., when they are not able to locate the rightful owner. 

The Department now has a program designed to find missing money and/or financial property and reunite it with the rightful owner.  There is a bill currently going through the legislative process that would require the Department to more actively seek out the folks that are owed money and/or financial property.

Check out this link to see if Minnesota owes you money.

Ditch Mowing:

Late last fall, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), from the direction of Governor Dayton, outlined a new policy requiring landowners to obtain a permit in order to mow ditches.

I believe that this is a large overreach of MnDOT’s authority. A bill to remedy this issue is currently moving through the committee process and I expect it to come before the House of Representatives for a vote later in session.

On Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court: Lorie Gildea and First Judicial District Judge: Kevin Mark as they welcomed Legislators to the official opening of the renovated Supreme Court chambers.

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I also participated in the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s First-Term Legislator Panel. We discussed issues important to Minnesota’s business climate and I addressed questions about my first term as a legislator.

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If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding anything related to state government, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 651-296-8635.

I appreciate your comments and concerns as it helps me be a better Representative.



P.S.  A lot of my fellow legislators and their constituents voted for Red Wing this week in the Small Business Revolution contest!