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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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March 29th Legislative Update

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Dear Friends and Neighbors, I am happy to report that my early childhood development screening bill (HF300) was signed into law by Governor Dayton on Tuesday! Passage of this bill could hopefully see an increase in comprehensive eye exams (as opposed to just screenings) for young children by promoting exams in written materials distributed by school districts. These exams would be able to point out problems in a child’s vision that screenings can miss. Parents might also be better informed of what the screenings at schools are and are not capable of detecting in children. This is an effort to reduce the risk of early-development children being misdiagnosed later in life when learning disabilities surface that are actually the result of impaired vision. The bill to pay back the K-12 Education shift was settled in Conference Committee on Wednesday. The differences between the House and the Senate versions of the bill were quickly fixed and the bill will now be returned to both bodies for approval. With this bill (HF2083), we would pay back all of the $430 million additional education shift passed as part of the budget agreement with Governor Dayton last year. We would also make the first ever repayment of the $2 billion education shift leftover from previous years. Another good bill that was passed through the House this week (HF1923) would modify a government water pricing mandate. Under current Minnesota state law, effective January 1, 2013, all public water suppliers (cities) of more than 1000 people would be required to implement a tiered water pricing system. This would mean that larger water users would be charged more per unit for water than others. Current law would most likely have a negative effect on schools, hospitals, hotels, beverage bottlers and other water depended users in our area. This bill removes the state mandate on cities to implement such a program and would instead encourage other water conservation methods for each community. HF2508 was also passed by the House this week. It would enhance the penalty for selling synthetic drugs to a felony, would expand the list of synthetic substances and would grant the Board of Pharmacy expedited rulemaking authority to handle new chemical formulas used by drug producers. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts on the legislative session. Sondra
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