Rep Keith Franke Capitol Update: A Productive Session (6/2/2017)

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Representative Keith Franke

Representative Keith Franke

By Rep. Keith Franke, 6/2/2017

Dear Neighbors,

As you know, we’ve closed out the legislative session, and completed our state’s budget. On Tuesday, Governor Dayton signed all of our budget bills into law. It’s great to see Minnesotans receive $650 million in tax relief, billions in road and bridge investment, and increased funding for our schools. Our bipartisan work to complete a responsible, balanced budget will help our residents throughout the state.

I also thought it was a productive first session for me during my term. Coming into the legislature, you have high hopes of passing lots of bills and making a big impact. This can difficult as you navigate the committee process, and try to have committee chairs and legislative leaders accept your bill ideas.

This year, I was fortunate to have three big provisions signed into law. You’re probably familiar with the first; my bill to create a strategic plan to eliminate HIV/AIDS in our state. The bill requires the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services to develop a comprehensive plan identifying strategies to determine specific goals and outcomes and provide recommendations for how to use resources to stop these diseases.

I also offered a provision that expands the Minnesota GI Bill program. In addition to postsecondary education assistance, my legislation also provides for apprenticeships and on-the-job training benefits. As a member of the Veterans Affairs Division, a big thing I heard was that veterans want to use their GI Bill benefits, but prefer a path like a trade, rather than going to a four-year college. This bill gives veterans more avenues to pursue a career after they’ve served our country.

Our Health and Human Services bill included legislation I authored to ensure a greater level of care for our elderly and vulnerable adults. The language requires the commissioner of health to work with interested stakeholders in order to identify areas of improvement relating to long-term care and safety. This is an important step for providing greater care for our vulnerable Minnesotans.

In all, I’m extremely proud of our budget bills as a whole, and to have some of my legislation signed into law. It was a very productive session where we saw compromises from both sides. I view it as a good compromise when nobody leaves the table happy. Each side had to give in on some of their priorities, but that’s what it takes to get a deal done. It’s what Minnesotans expect.

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 the budget, I’ll be back in the district and hope to see you around.

Have a great weekend,


State Representative Keith Franke
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

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