Monthly Archive for February, 2017

Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update: Sunday alcohol (2/24/2017)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 2/24/2017

Dear Neighbors,

Sunday Sales Passes
On Monday, the House passed a bill to legalize the sale of alcohol on Sunday. It’s the first time ever that a Sunday sales repeal bill has been voted on and passed in the Legislature. I was one of 85 members from both parties to support this legislation.

As a small business owner, I understand the need to let consumers choose what’s best for them, and consumers have made it very clear they want to purchase alcohol on Sundays. I voted for this measure because it had support from residents in my district, and I didn’t encounter any opposition from local liquor stores.

The bill is now in the Senate where it will be heard on Monday.

My Bills
This week, I introduced a bill to fight terrorism in our state. The legislation makes it a crime to support the planning or execution of a terrorist attack. Much of the anti-terrorism legislation comes from the federal level, but this is a step we can take in Minnesota that could help prevent this violence.

I also have a bill to help South St. Paul. It’s a bonding bill to fund the storm water lift station at Seidl Lake. The legislature doesn’t always pass a bonding bill in the first year of the biennium, but I know this is an important project for the city and I’ll advocate for this legislation to be in any bonding agreement.

Flint Hills Visit
Earlier today I joined other legislators to tour Flint Hills Resources. It was a very informative visit, and I want to thank Jake Reint, Don Kern and Matt Lemke for hosting us!

Please Contact Me
We’ll be putting together some of our major bills in the coming weeks. That means it’s more important than ever for you to reach out and share your opinion. You can email me at rep.keith.franke@house.mn or call 651-296-4342.

Have a great weekend,
Keith

State Representative Keith Franke
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4342
rep.keith.franke@house.mn

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Rep Tony Jurgens Capitol Update: Sunday sales (2/24/2017)

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Representative Tony Jurgens

Representative Tony Jurgens

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 2/24/2017

Hello from the State Capitol,

Want to buy a case of beer or a bottle of wine on Sundays in Hastings or Cottage Grove? If so, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Minnesota House has approved legislation allowing Sunday liquor sales.

For 80 years, Minnesota has banned the sale of this legal product on Sundays, and because of it we lose an estimated $10 million in tax collections each biennium. Minnesota is currently one of 12 states with a prohibition on the sale of intoxicating beverages on Sundays, none of which border Minnesota.

Off-sale liquor sales are currently permitted between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday. Under the House-approved bill, retailers could sell alcohol between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Sundays, effective July 1, 2017, but the delivery or acceptance of alcohol to an off-sale retailer on Sundays would be prohibited.

Worth noting: this bill does not require liquor stores to operate on Sundays; it simply removes the legal prohibition against doing so.

My constituent correspondence has been overwhelmingly in favor of ending the ban. I made a point of contacting all of our district’s liquor store owners as well, and slightly more favored allowing Sunday sales than not, so I certainly felt comfortable with my ‘yes’ vote.

The Sunday liquor sales bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.

Our state’s latest budget forecast is expected to be unveiled on February 28. That will be our most up-to-date guideline on Minnesota’s expected revenue collections and expenditures, which means we will soon begin focusing on setting the state’s budget for the next two years. I’ll share more about Minnesota’s economic outlook in a future update.

Meeting with constituents is truly the most enjoyable part of my job as your state representative, and I’m pleased to have visited with many recently.

Last week I visited with the residents and staff at the Hastings Veterans Home and learned more about their legislative concerns and how I can help.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Community Visitor Day

Not long ago I also took part in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Community Visitor Day in Hastings. Here, I’m pictured with 5th graders Madelyn Chandler and Derek Kelleher who served as my very kind hosts.

Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota at the Capitol

Corrie & Kyle Kropelnicki, along with their kids Kyler, Cadan & Karson visited with me in St. Paul this week taking part in Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota at the Capitol.

Minnesota’s athletic trainers also had their day at the Capitol.

Minnesota’s athletic trainers also had their day at the Capitol, and I was pleased to sit down with Cottage Grove resident Aaron Benson.

Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Wednesday also marked Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Early that morning, I was able to meet with local drivers, aides, dispatchers and mechanics from the Hastings Bus Company in the City of Hastings and at the Denmark Township terminal to show my appreciation.

Alternative Learning Center Day at the Capitol

Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting with a pair of students from the St. Croix Alternative Learning Center as part of Alternative Learning Center Day at the Capitol. Afton constituent Sarah Breems and Nate Schnettler asked if they could meet with me briefly while they were here, but I asked them if they wanted to spend their entire two hours with me and I’m pleased they accepted. I was able to take them onto the House floor, have them sit in on several meetings and watch a few minutes of some committee meetings so they were able to learn more about the day-to-day happenings of a state lawmaker. I truly enjoyed it and I hope they did too.

As always, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn or contact my office at 651-296-3135.

Have a good weekend,
Tony

State Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-3135
rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn

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Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update: Patrick W. Beard (2/17/2017)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 2/17/2017

Dear Neighbors,

Rep. Beard
On Tuesday, February 7, we lost a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives with the passing of Patrick W. Beard at the age of 69. Born in St. Paul in 1947, he graduated from Park Senior High School. Following high school, future Rep. Beard served his country in the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL where he earned three bronze stars and a silver star. Following his service, he returned home and graduated from the University Minnesota.

In 1982, he was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives where he would serve six terms. During his time in office, Rep. Beard chaired various committees, and was a true advocate for our men and women in uniform. Just prior to his retirement, Rep. Beard said his greatest legislative accomplishment was the passage of two bills advocating for prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Outside of the legislature, Rep. Beard was a loving husband and father to four sons. Please keep Rep. Beard’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

Students from Kaposia Education Center

Local Schools
Students from Kaposia Education Center came to the Capitol to visit. I love seeing young people start to learn about our government, and the importance of being involved in this process.

On Tuesday, I met with South St. Paul Superintendent Dave Webb to talk about school funding. As you know, we’re putting together our education budget in the coming days, and hearing from local administrators and teachers is helpful in this process. A big thanks to Superintendent Webb for stopping by.

South St Paul Superintendent Dave Webb

South St. Paul Days
Town Square TV produced a great video from South St. Paul Day at the Capitol. We had an amazing time at the event, and I look forward to more events like this. If you want to view the video, please click here.

If you have questions on anything we’re discussing in St. Paul, please give me a call or shoot me an email.

Enjoy the warm weekend!
Keith

State Representative Keith Franke
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4342
rep.keith.franke@house.mn

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Rep Tony Jurgens Capitol Update: Hastings speed limits (2/17/2017)

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Representative Tony Jurgens

Representative Tony Jurgens

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 2/17/2017

Hello from the State Capitol,

In response to numerous resident concerns about speed limit increases in the City of Hastings, I will be scheduling a meeting with Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials to discuss the situation.

I have been receiving many phone calls and emails about MnDOT’s decision to increase the speed limit on Highway 316 from Highway 61 to Tuttle Drive. These same concerns were being brought to me when I was door knocking last summer. It’s a well-traveled road that’s difficult to access from a side street and in spots has no place for people to walk. Increasing the speed limit here is just asking for trouble.

The speed limits are expected to take effect this spring, and the stretch of Highway 316 I’m referencing will jump from 35 to 40 miles per hour. A number of other speed changes in Hastings and near the city limits will also take place at this time.

I’m pleased the City of Hastings has been working closely with MnDOT. Its input was critical towards maintaining the speed limit near Roadside Park along Highway 55. I also think city officials were wise to fight these changes, particularly to maintain the 35 mile an hour speed limit on that stretch of Highway 316.

At this point, I think it’s important for me to reach out to MnDOT and see if there’s anything more that can be done. Increasing the speed limit won’t increase safety in this area. In fact, I’m convinced that doing so will only make it more dangerous.

Representative Tony Jurgens visits Hastings Creamery.

A few days ago I had the pleasure of touring the Hastings Co-Op Creamery and find out more about this unique local business.

The creamery has been in place for more than 100 years and is a fixture in the community. Thank you for allowing me to visit and learn about your operation!

Nursing Association Day at the Capitol.

Cottage Grove constituents Angela Schroeder, Gerald Awenti and Grace Larsen also stopped by my office as part of Nursing Association Day at the Capitol. It was good to hear their thoughts on health care – thanks for visiting and sharing your input.

As always, if you are interested in scheduling an office visit in St. Paul, please call my office at 651-296-3135 and we will put you on the calendar!

Have a good weekend,
Tony

State Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-3135
rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn

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Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update: Wrapped another week (2/10/2017)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 2/10/2017

Good afternoon,

We’ve wrapped another week at the Capitol and I’m happy with the progress we’re making. Here’s a short update from the last few days.

Final Bill Hearing
On Tuesday, my bill to provide a tax credit for businesses who hire veterans made its last stop in the Taxes Committee. The legislation was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus tax bill. The committee will be putting together this larger bill as we go through session, and I’m hopeful my legislation will be included. I wanted to thank Trent Dilks with Disabled American Veterans, Department of Minnesota for testifying in favor of the bill.

Constituent Visits
Thanks to everyone who stopped by this week. I had a number of meetings including a discussion with local teachers. It was an insightful discussion to hear the questions and concerns of local educators. We’ll be putting together our education budget proposal soon, so it was nice to have their input on state education policy and funding.

Winter Sports
Some of local high school winter sports are coming to a close. I was fortunate to watch the Park girls hockey team last weekend get a big win. Good luck to our local teams as they finish their seasons and start the playoff run.

Please Contact
As you know, I’m always free to talk about issues that are important to you. You can call or email, and I’ll be sure we find a time to connect. If you’re coming to St. Paul, feel free to schedule a time to meet in my office.

Have a great weekend,
Keith

State Representative Keith Franke
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-4342
rep.keith.franke@house.mn

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