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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, April 30, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

Thank you to everyone who attended the town hall meeting that was conducted in Clear Lake last weekend. It was amazing to see such a large number of eople show up to discuss the size/scope of our government and the Convention of States.

As I noted in a recent newsletter, numerous constituents have expressed their concern to me over the direction the federal government is taking with its unsustainable spending increases and its infringement upon of states’ rights provided under the 10th Amendment.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides states with the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments that, “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.”

People have a wide range of opinions on this subject, and it was good to hear so many voice their thoughts. Agree or not, I was just thoroughly impressed so many people are passionate enough about this issue that they took time out of their weekend to attend, including some that made lengthy drives to get here.

If you are looking for more information/background on Convention of States, you can check out this website and/or the Convention of States Minnesota Facebook page.

In other news:

Funding for law enforcement 

The House and Senate this week passed a bill with $7.8 million to provide funding for public safety assistance costs in the Twin Cities.  

The bill provides $1.5 million in funding to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to reimburse out-of-state law enforcement who traveled to the Twin Cities to provide assistance for the Derek Chauvin trial. An additional $6.3 million is provided for State Patrol Trooper and DNR Conservation Officer expenses related to civil unrest. 

House Republicans unanimously voted in favor of final passage of the bill because we support our law enforcement. While I would never support bailing out bad decisions, we need to make sure volatile situations don’t spiral out of control as happened last summer in the Twin Cities. The bill we passed helps to ensure law enforcement has the resources needed to keep our communities safe. 

All 25 “no” votes in the 107-25 tally came from the House majority. It's been disappointing to see the disrespect coming from activists – and even city leaders – toward our officers who are doing their best to protect us.  

For example, earlier this month, liberal activists chased away members of the Minnesota National Guard from a St. Paul Labor Hall. Then the Minneapolis Park Board voted to boot the State Patrol from a shared workspace used for meals, rest, and bathroom breaks. That move was vetoed by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. On top of that, several Senate Democrats filed a formal letter of protest and dissent in the Senate Journal objecting to a broadly bipartisan resolution passed by the Minnesota Senate supporting the Minnesota National Guard and condemning the disrespect shown by the union activists. 

Budget bills 

All 12 of the House’s budget bills that comprise various aspects of the state’s new two-year budget have now received approval, mainly along party lines. The last to come up for a vote was a package related to health, human services and early childhood which passed on Monday. 

In short, the bill continues to expand government-run healthcare and imposes burdensome new mandates that drive up the cost of health care for Minnesota families. Needless to say, I voted against it. The good news is this bill, along with all the other budget bills, will undergo massive makeovers in the conference committee process as we work to find agreement between House and Senate proposals.

I hope these bills come back for final approval looking a whole lot more like the Senate’s versions than the House majority’s push to raise taxes by billions of dollars at a time the state has a historic surplus and is recovering from a pandemic.

Have a good weekend,


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