Last week the primary focus in St. Paul was on the governor’s State of the State address and education reforms.
Governor Dayton, in his State of the State address, outlined his plan to create jobs by giving a $3,000 tax credit, building a Vikings’ stadium, and quickly passing a bonding bill. Though I agree with the governor that jobs are of the utmost importance for turning our economy around, I see true job growth occurring in the private sector as state government provides lasting regulation and tax relief. I also agreed with the governor’s comment that there will be a clear choice for Minnesotans next November between supporting his policy of increasing taxes or the Republican policy of reducing spending.
Because quality education is so critical to a strong economy the Minnesota House of Representatives has made education reform a top priority. Last week the House worked on four key reforms:
- House File 1770, to require teacher candidates to pass the basic skills exam before entering the classroom, unanimously passed the House floor. Current statute allows teachers three years to pass the exam.
- House File 1870, to allow teacher performance to also be considered when deciding teacher layoffs, passed the House floor. Currently, it is illegal to consider anything other than seniority.
- My chief-authored bill, House File 2127, fosters digital learning. The bill was heard, debated, and unanimously passed out of the Education Reform Committee.
- My chief-authored bill, House File 638, A-F Grading of Schools and School Districts, was heard in the Education Finance Committee. The bill gained support and was laid over for possible inclusion in another bill.
The Minnesota courts were required to draw the new redistricting maps, since the governor vetoed the plan passed by the legislature last session. The redistricting maps are due out today at 1:00 p.m.
Please plan now to attend my “Day at the Capitol” on Saturday morning, March 31, 2012. You are welcome to call my legislative assistant, Allie, at (651) 296-9710 to RSVP or to schedule an appointment for us to talk about your concerns.
Representative Pam Myhra