House Update

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation that removes teacher seniority as the only component to be considered in teacher layoffs. HF1870 would allow school districts to consider teacher effectiveness when layoffs occur. Currently Minnesota is one of only eleven states that are still using only seniority to determine who is retained. This legislation is long overdue and is another step in improving our schools and helping our children learn. Nationwide, President Obama supports this movement away from seniority as the following link explains.

Last week, Governor Dayton vetoed four bills that attempted to correct flaws in our tort system. The Governor’s vetoes are a setback for jobs and consumers. These bills passed the Minnesota Legislature with bipartisan support. By vetoing this legislation Governor Dayton is ignoring the priority of 45 regional Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations focused on job creation and their more than 60,000 members who run the small and large businesses that make Minnesota’s economy work. Consumers will continue to pay the higher costs that businesses build into their products to guard against the very lawsuit abuses these bills would have ended.

Also last week, the House passed legislation that would prohibit union dues from being deducted from child care assistance payment funds.  The bill is in response to Governor Dayton’s recent executive order calling for a vote on unionizing private child care providers. The bill ensures that child care assistance dollars are applied to the care of children instead of being diverted to unions. This bill has received strong support from child care providers, and no one testified against the bill in the House HHS Reform Committee. Governor Dayton’s unionization vote was blocked on December 5, 2011, when a temporary restraining order was issued. The summary judgment hearing is now scheduled to occur on Wednesday, February 22 at the Ramsey County Courthouse.

Last week, representatives from Sandstone testified before the House Government Operations Committee about a bill (HF2082) that would allow the city to sell a housing development to a private party. Not everyone in Sandstone agrees that this is a good idea. The committee heard testimony from both sides on this issue. I’d like to thank Sam Griffith (Sandstone City Administrator), Wayne Oak and Irene Sandell for testifying before the committee.

As always, I welcome your calls at 651-296-0518 or your emails @


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