Monthly Archives: October 2013

Speed Limits Go Up on Some Rural Highways

Dear Friends,

After several years of working to increase the speed limit on rural roads with my DFL and GOP colleagues, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) has announced a speed limit increase on all of Highway 75, most of Highway 59, and part of Highway 7 to 60 mph. The speed limit will be effective once the signs are installed. You can read MNDOT’s press release on the increase here:

For a lot of people, this will be a welcomed change on these wide open state highways. I have been working with my legislative colleagues for several years to make these changes happen on major roads like this. Last session, I worked to pass legislation (Senate File 1210) that would have created a statewide speed limit increase from 55 mph to 60 mph. The proposal passed both the House and Senate in an omnibus bill, but was pulled out by a conference committee before it would have received its final passage. You can watch my Kare11 interview about increasing speed limits last session on rural roads here:

Over the years, citizens have provided me with input via town meetings, e-mails, and sidewalk conversations to raise the speed limit on state highways. Rural Minnesota families have lots of miles to travel – whether it is for jobs, shopping, or visiting friends and family. The new 5 mph increase seems to be reasonable. Some have even argued that it should be increased to 65 mph, but 60 mph is a good option to try for the motoring public. Furthermore, this speed limit closer aligns with the speed the average driver is already going on these roads.

No matter what the speed limit is drivers need to continue to practice safe and defensive driving. Safety comes first and starts with each individual driver!

I encourage and appreciate citizen input. I can be reached by telephone at (651) 296-3826 or (855) 407-7386, by e-mail at, or via mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Warm Regards,

Senator Torrey Westrom

Republican Party of Minnesota Launches TruthMatters Website

Site will highlight broken promises, lies and insults of the Democratic Party and its allies

The Republican Party of Minnesota today launched a new website tool to hold Democrats accountable to the truth heading into the 2014 election. The website, called, will focus on the broken promises, lies and insults of the Democrats and their allies both in Minnesota and in Washington, D.C.

“While a rigorous debate is part of our healthy democracy, the truth still matters,” said Keith Downey, Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota. “This website will hold our friends on the other side accountable for the claims they make in the public square.”

In launching the new website, Downey highlighted several posts featuring Governor Mark Dayton including his broken promise that electronic pull-tab money would pay for the Vikings stadium and a recent lie about the Democrats taking credit for paying back the K-12 education shift. The site also features a lie from Senator Al Franken regarding his vote in favor of the medical device tax that is damaging Minnesota companies.

Downey said the focus on insults is an attempt to call out the DFL Party and organizations like the Alliance for a Better Minnesota when they resort to name calling and bring down the level of debate.

“There’s a belief in politics that if you repeat something long enough, it becomes fact. We’re not going to let untrue statements about our candidates and beliefs go unanswered in the 2014 election. And we’re going to remind voters of the promises made by candidates like Mark Dayton and Al Franken during their campaigns for office.”

The TruthMatters website can be found at A Twitter account has also been set up at


Rep. Mary Franson (08B) – Legislative

Dear neighbor,

On Wednesday we received word from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appeals court for Minnesota) that the injunction for the childcare unionization law will remain in place. Until the Eighth Circuit makes a decision on the lawsuit challenging the childcare unionization law or the U.S. Supreme Court decides Harris v. Quinn (a similar lawsuit based out of Illinois) – whichever occurs first – childcare unionization is on hold in Minnesota.

This lawsuit began after Governor Dayton signed the childcare unionization bill into law after it was forced through the House and passed by a single vote. Childcare providers challenged the law in federal district court. While the lawsuit and the motion for an injunction of the law were dismissed in federal district court, the childcare providers appealed. As part of the appeal, childcare providers sought an injunction of the law. Initially, the Eighth Circuit ordered the injunction until the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision as to whether it would take up Harris v. Quinn. That legal challenge relates to a law in Illinois with similarities to the Minnesota unionization law.

After the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was planning to take up Harris v. Quinn, AFSCME sought to lift the injunction. The Eighth Circuit denied that motion.

I anticipate this law will be hung up in court in the months ahead. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on Harris v. Quinn by June of 2014. In the mean time, I will continue to advocate for hardworking moms, dads, and childcare providers who cannot afford the higher costs and fewer options unionization would impose.

As always, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.



Vote on Who Should Be Our Next Governor

At the 7th Congressional District Website: