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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nathan Nelson (R)

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Legislative Update - Rep. Nathan Nelson

Friday, April 5, 2024

Legislative Update

A Gross Neglect of Emergency Services

Despite the surge in spending, democrats and the governor are shamefully neglecting the dire needs of our emergency medical services across the state. Their new proposal throws a meager $16 million at rural EMS, a pitiful sum that falls woefully short of what is required for full funding.

Providers are gasping for breath under the suffocating “fee-for-service” model, which has left rural areas of the state in a dire situation with dwindling access to ambulances and other EMS options. There is legislation on the table that could provide more aid, but it seems we are far from prioritizing this fundamental function of government – public safety – over the Democrats’ proposals.

This is a glaring testament to the gross mismanagement of taxpayer funds we’ve witnessed at the Capitol under the current one-party control. Minnesotans deserve far better from their legislators than to be taxed to the bone while essential services are scandalously shortchanged. If they’re going to splurge, then let’s at least channel it towards priority issues such as public safety.

Support of Police and Peace Officers

In support of Minnesota’s police and peace officers and an abundant need for improved public safety, House Republicans have put forward our public safety package with a number of proposals to address this mounting issue.

  • Public Safety Aid Flexibility: This initiative allows local governments to use public safety aid as per their needs, unlike the previous session’s restricted $300 million aid.
  • Expert Witness Disclosure: A bill requiring county attorneys to disclose expert witness information in officer-involved death incidents, in response to recent issues with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
  • Penalty for Illegal Firearm Transfer: I support legislation to increase penalties for “straw man” firearm purchases. Despite an indictment related to a Burnsville shooting, House Democrats have yet to advance this legislation.

House Democrats have not yet moved the legislation forward. It is unfortunate that the majority often takes the language of a bill proposed by Republicans and creates a new bill so that one of their own can take full credit. However, I am still hopeful that these public safety proposals will be discussed in the coming weeks.