Oct 6: A day to support our Republican candidates

Come join CD-2 in helping support our Republican candidates Jeff Johnson, Jason Lewis, Karin Housley, and our local candidates Keith Franke and Tony Jurgens etc.

We will be at Lighthouse Baptist in Cottage Grove starting at 10:00 a.m. on October 6th, we will be organizing door knockers, lit drops, and phone banks to help our candidates within Senate District 54. We plan to go until around 7:00 p.m.

*Door Knocking Shifts/Lit Drops:
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Lunch Break)
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

*Phone Banks:
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Or 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Upon Request)

*Shift Times Subject to Change

If Interested and able, please contact Blake Kuncl at 651-900-1035

We hope to see you there!

July 10 Fundraiser for Keith Franke and Tony Jurgens

July Fundraiser for Keith Franke and Tony Jurgens

Click to view

Join Senate District 54 for a fundraiser to support our local Representatives Tony Jurgens and Keith Franke!

Enjoy food and drinks while speaking with Tony and/or Keith about their time at the Capitol, as well as, their campaigns for re-election.

Appetizers will be provided by the BPOU. The dinner menu will be available to order from as well.

Where:
Green Mill Restaurant & Bar
909 Vermillion St. Hastings, MN, 55033

When:
Tuesday, July 10th at 6pm-8:30pm

Suggested donation of $50 which is eligible for a full refund through the PCR Program, or whatever you can contribute.

We would love to have you join us for this event! All are welcome! We hope to see you on July 10th!

Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update (6/1/2018)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 6/1/2018

Dear Neighbors,

3M Bill Signed Into Law

Earlier this week, Governor Dayton signed our bill, HF3660, into law. The legislation, which I co-authored, ensures public transparency and guardrails for the $850 million 3M settlement. We want to make sure these funds are used in our area so we can have the drinking water quality that our residents deserve.

I’m happy to see this bill signed and to know that the areas that need it most will receive funds from the settlement. I want to thank our local officials and my fellow legislators for working tirelessly on behalf of east metro residents. This is great news for our district.

Bonding Bill Becomes Law

On Wednesday, our bonding proposal was signed into law. This will be a big help statewide, and also includes projects in our area. Now signed by the governor, we’ll see funding from a bill I authored for the Seidl’s Lake stormwater lift station. Another important part of our bonding bill is nearly $9.5 million to fund the HERO Center in Cottage Grove. My friend and colleague, Rep. Tony Jurgens, authored this bill, and I was one of the co-authors. The HERO Center would be a big addition to our area to help train first responders.

Another critical part of the bill is $25 million to make safety improvements to Minnesota schools. I’ve been advocating all session for increased school safety measures, so it’s good to see these funds become law.

Highlights of the bonding portion of the bill as presented to the governor include:

$178 million asset preservation
$123 million for water-related projects
$20 million for flood work
$208 million for higher education construction
$541 million for transportation
$32 million for veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo
$28 million for mental health crisis centers

Please Contact Me

I’ve enjoyed hearing your thoughts and ideas this session, and thank you for all of your calls and emails. Now that we’re done with session, I’ll be back in the district and encourage you to contact my office so we can set up a time to meet.

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 (5/30/2018)

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Representative Tony Jurgens

Representative Tony Jurgens

By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 5/30/2018

Hello from St. Paul,

There’s good news and bad news to report from St. Paul as Governor Dayton has taken action on compromise legislation approved by the Minnesota House and Senate.

Unfortunately the bad news is pretty bad. Governor Dayton vetoed two major pieces of legislation, the supplemental budget bill and a proposal that provided funding for our schools, instituted tax relief and conformed state and federal tax laws.

On the taxes side of the equation, tax conformity was critical this session because when the federal government approved new tax laws, Minnesota needed to adjust its state income tax policies in order to match up with the new guidelines. The plan also provided the first tax rate cut in 20 years, which would have benefited millions of Minnesotans. With the veto all of that is gone, plus filing your income taxes next year is expected to be more difficult, and it’s now estimated that roughly 300,000 Minnesotans will actually face tax increases because of this decision.

Schools also took a hit. Our proposal provided up to $225 million to assist school districts statewide, which resulted in well over $1 million lost for Hastings and South Washington County.

Our supplemental budget plan would have prevented a 7% cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System, which impacts people with disabilities and their caretakers. Special education and Head Start students, people in need of mental health support; opioid addiction victims; and deputy registrars whose businesses are floundering due to the MNLARS mess are among those who will also suffer from the governor’s decision. Unfortunately, my provision that addresses school lunch shaming was included in the bill the governor vetoed. This is an issue I feel very strongly about so I intend to continue working on it in the future.

The vetoes are difficult for me to comprehend, especially since the bills passed with bipartisan support and the governor couldn’t really give any significant reasons why he made the moves. Also keep in mind these bills included a number of provisions he fought for, and that the Legislature addressed, eliminated, or altered 70% of other concerns he had with our proposals. I fear these vetoes were nothing more than political gamesmanship, which is the type of action that makes most Minnesotans cringe.

On the brighter side, the governor did sign into law our capital investment proposal. This includes $178 million in asset preservation, some of which will be utilized at the Hastings Veterans Home. Also included was funding for my proposal that will help create the Health and Emergency Response Occupations (HERO) Center proposal in Washington County, as well as the Dakota County SMART Center.

The governor also signed a bill that addresses the $850 million settlement between 3M and the State of Minnesota, which will help ensure the funds are used only in the East Metro in order to keep our drinking water clean.

Though this legislative session ended with some ups and downs, I’m pleased with the success stories that were brought forward during my first term as your state representative. Whether it was historic tax relief for the middle class and hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to transportation at the state level, or protecting Highway 316 speed limits in Hastings and providing guardrails for 3M settlement dollars at the local level, we made good progress in a number of areas.

In other news, it was great to see many of you at our local Memorial Day events. I was pleased to attend the Hastings Veterans Home flag ceremony, a Memorial Day service, and a wreath ceremony in Hastings Monday morning.

As well as Cottage Grove’s Memorial Day service later that afternoon.

That was followed by a return to Hastings to greet the dozens of individuals who braved 100 degree heat to walk 28 miles from Red Wing to Hastings as part of their Memorial Day March for Them.

These events were not only terrific but touching, and it was a privilege to be in attendance. Hats off to all of the organizers who spent countless hours planning these ceremonies, reminding us that freedom isn’t free and honoring those men and women who paid the ultimate price.

Talk to you soon,
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 (5/25/2018)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 5/25/2018

Dear Neighbors,

Last Sunday, we finished up the 2018 legislative session by passing our major bills containing initiatives like tax conformity and school safety. I believe I was successfully able to advocate for our area, and help pass provisions important to local residents. Protecting our drinking water, keeping our schools safer, and increasing penalties for those who break the law behind the wheel are significant provisions I was able to push for and help get passed in the legislature. It’s unfortunate that Governor Dayton decided to veto some of our major bipartisan proposals, but I’m hoping to see some of my provisions signed into law to help our area and our state.

Local Bills

This session, I’ve been working hard on issues that impact our area. I co-authored a bill to ensure transparency regarding the $850 million 3M settlement, as well as place some needed guardrails on how this money is allocated. Our bill makes sure the funds are used in our area – where it belongs – to enhance the quality and sustainability of drinking water. This legislation passed on a wide bipartisan vote in the House, and I’m hoping to see the governor sign it into law.

I also had a local project – the Seidl’s Lake stormwater lift station – included in our bonding proposal that we passed this year. Another important part of our bonding bill is nearly $9.5 million to fund the HERO Center in Cottage Grove. My friend and colleague, Rep. Tony Jurgens, authored this bill, and I was one of the co-authors. The HERO Center would be a big addition to our area to help train first responders. I’m really hoping the governor will put aside the partisan politics and at least sign our bonding bill so we can get moving on these important projects.

Public Safety Provisions Vetoed

One of my priorities in the legislature is keeping Minnesotans safe. On this topic, there’s not a more important way to protect our residents than to improve school safety. This year, we passed a bill containing my provision to require and fund school districts to establish a threat assessment team, which include members in various areas of expertise relating to school safety, who must assess, intervene, and report individuals that may pose a safety risk to the school. I believe this is one piece of the puzzle in helping keep our schools safer for students, teachers, and staff.

Another bill I authored would increase penalties for distracted driving if a driver is using their cell phone and injures or kills someone. I was able to pass a modified version of this that increases the penalties for those caught texting and driving, hopefully deterring this behavior behind the wheel.

I also put some of my life experience to use in order to advocate for new ways to prevent and treat addiction. I passed one provision to combat the opioid epidemic by modifying prescribing limits. Another frees up federal grant dollars on a two-to-one match to get people assistance with recovery and addiction issues. The issue of addiction has taken on a whole new light with the recent passing of my friend and employee, and I hope we can continue to make strides in helping those struggling with this disease. If you’re interested, here’s a clip of me speaking about this devastating experience on the House floor.

The governor vetoed the bill that contained all of these safety provisions, and I’ve been having trouble understanding why. He started out with over 100 objections to our bill and we removed or modified nearly 70% of them, meeting him much further than halfway. I’m extremely disappointed to see my provisions to improve school safety, make our roads safer, and fight addiction in our state be vetoed. To me, it seems like partisan politics came before all of these issues for the governor. It’s tough to handle, but also motivates me even more to get these provisions signed into law.

Please Contact Me

Despite the recent setbacks, it’s been an incredible two sessions in St. Paul. I’m truly honored to serve our area and it’s been amazing to interact with so many residents of our district and bring your insights and opinions back to the Capitol. Though session is ending, I hope you’ll still call or email if I can ever be of assistance.

Memorial Day

It’ll be a warm Memorial Day weekend. Though it looks and feels like the official start to summer, it’s important to remember the reason behind Memorial Day. This is a time for us to honor those who’ve fought and died for our country. We owe so much to these brave men and women for sacrificing everything so we can live free.

Sincerely,

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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