DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values



Legislative Update April 17, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

Legislators have been spending many hours in committee as omnibus policy and finance bills are being developed in anticipation of committee deadlines.  Next week we will start to hear those omnibus bills, and it is more important than ever that you contact me and let me know your views.

House Education Omnibus Bill

This week, the House majority unveiled its E-12 education bill. On a positive note, my bipartisan bill, Tyler Hill’s K-12 Sunshine Bill, which requires programs that recruit our K-12 students for experiences abroad to report on their safety records, was included in this bill. Another bipartisan bill of mine, which will allow our immersion school students to take college in the schools as 9th and 10th graders if their local school districts feel they are ready, is also included.  Increased funding and policy changes will also make it easier for our high school students to earn college credits.

However, despite a significant projected budget surplus of nearly $2 billion, the bill provides for an increase of less than 1% (.6%) in education funding in each of the next two years. School officials have told legislators that this funding is inadequate and will result in teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and program reductions or eliminations.  I am very concerned about this, as I believe we need to strike a better balance between investing our projected surplus in our state’s children and their economic future, and providing a hospitable tax climate.

Last biennium, I authored the bill to pay back the money previously borrowed from Minnesota’s schools.  That has been accomplished.  Now I am concerned that inadequate funding now could lead us back down a path of borrowing and budgeting shifts. In any proposal, there needs to be balance and fiscal sustainability.

Presenting my bill to increase science, technology, engineering and math in our schools, along with the Apple Valley “Iron Maidens” all-female robotics team!

Avian Flu

Yesterday, the House declared an urgency to fund an emergency response to the avian influenza epidemic facing turkey farms throughout Minnesota. The bill would fund Minnesota’s portion of the emergency response not covered with federal funds. Governor Dayton issued Emergency Executive Order 15-06 last week and the legislature is now responding. This will give related agencies the funds needed to respond to and prevent the spread of avian flu in Minnesota. So far, 26 flocks of turkeys have been infected. 

Met Council

Some of my colleagues across the aisle in outer-ring counties have proposed significant changes to the Met Council. One of the most significant changes would replace board members (who are currently appointed by the Governor) with elected officials, which some say would politicize the process. The Met Council’s duty is to serve the entire metropolitan region, and in turn the whole state. I share concerns with many that making the council more political would not help to serve this mission. I understand that the Met Council changes as Governors change, and I would be open to considering staggered terms to promote institutional memory on the board, and possibly having a mixture of elected officials and Governor appointed members on the board.  Please let me know your thoughts.

As always, please contact me anytime with your input.  I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-3964 or by email at . Thank you for the honor of representing you at the State Capitol.


Selcer Signature

Yvonne Selcer

State Representative, 48A
227 State Office Building
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

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