Category Archives: Mary Franson

Rep. Mary Franson (08B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

On Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives declared an urgency, suspending the rules, to take up legislation providing emergency funds to the Department of Agriculture and Board of Animal Health in order to better prevent and respond to the avian influenza outbreak that has devastated Minnesota turkey flocks. The House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of this measure.

To date, 14 counties in Minnesota have been affected by avian influenza including Ottertail, Roseau, Kandiyohi, Stearns, Cottonwood, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lyon, Meeker, Nobles, Pope, Redwood, Swift and Watonwan.

It is estimated that 1.5 million turkeys have been lost as a result of the outbreak.

Fortunately officials believe that we do not have to worry about humans contracting the disease, the bad news is that the outbreak is causing damage to Minnesota’s $800 million turkey farming industry.

While officials have stated that the food system has been uninterrupted by the current breakout, about four dozen nations have banned Minnesota poultry including the European Union and most of Central America.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are three basic rules for security when dealing with a potential outbreak:

•Look for the signs of disease.
•Report sick birds.
•Don’t wait. If your birds are sick or dying, contact your local cooperative extension office, your veterinarian or the state veterinarian or state animal/poultry diagnostic laboratory at 1-866-536-7593.

It is believed that the outbreak will eventually subside, but for the near future I urge farmers to be vigilant in watching for sick birds.

In other Ag related news, I have heard concerns from local farmers regarding the unseasonably dry soil conditions. This week, I spoke with a farmer who is worried about the majority of his top soil being blown away due to high winds and dry conditions. He expressed his desire to plant a small amount of alfalfa to prevent the top soil from being lost, but is unable to do so due to DNR restrictions on water use that do not allow for irrigating to begin before May 1st.

Due to the unseasonably dry conditions, I believe that the DNR should be more flexible in these regulations and give farmers the option to address issues surrounding the unseasonably dry soil. The good news is that there is rain in the forecast for this weekend, but we need to make sure that we are prepared for situations such as this in the future.


House Passes Pro-2nd Amendment Bills

On Thursday, the House passed four pro 2nd Amendment bills that protect your rights, as law abiding citizens, to keep and bear arms.

•HF 372- notice of possession of firearms at the Capitol complex requirement amended
•HF 830- clarifies that long guns can be purchased from and sold to persons in other states
•HF 1434- legalizes the use of firearm suppressors that are lawfully possessed under federal law.
•HF 722- clarifies the authority of a public official or entity to seize or regulate weapons during a state of emergency.

As a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment I will continue to fight for your rights to keep and bear arms.

2015 Legislative Survey

Your input on issues being debated at the Capitol this session is extremely important. Please take my 2015 Legislative Survey by clicking the link below. Your feedback is appreciated!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NHDQJHJ

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me! Hearing from the people of 8B helps to ensure I’m representing the priorities of our community.

Also, please be sure to share the survey with friends and family.

Staying in Touch

As always, please feel free to contact me via 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: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Sincerely,

Mary

Rep. Mary Franson (08B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

Thank you to those of you who took time to come to the Capitol this week to visit with me about issues that are important to you. If you are planning on being in St. Paul in the near future, please do not hesitate to contact me to set up a time to visit. I would love to meet with you!

Bill Authorizing the Production of Industrial Hemp Clears First Committee

My bill, House File 683, which would authorize the production of industrial hemp and establish a state regulatory structure for its production, received its first hearing and was passed by the Agriculture Policy Committee on Wednesday with bipartisan support.

I am excited that this pro-jobs bill passed through the Ag Policy Committee with such broad support. Minnesota has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of an emerging industry that will have exceptional benefits for Greater Minnesota and our state as a whole. Not only would it open new opportunities for farmers and those in the agriculture industry, it would move our state toward allowing for local sourcing of many products made from hemp fibers. These fibers can be used in textiles, rope, food, clothing, paper, insulation, and building materials.

Protecting our Most Vulnerable

On Monday, House File 8, was debated by the House and passed on a unanimous 130-0 vote. HF 8, authored by Rep. Ron Kresha, makes policy changes to Minnesota’s child protection system. The changes in this bill are two of the recommendations that came from the Governor’s 26 person task force on child protection that was assembled last year following the tragic killing of 4 year-old Starbuck resident Eric Dean.

The bill contains two provisions:

•Places child health and safety as the paramount concern when making child protection decisions.

•Reverses a law passed in 2013 that barred consideration of screened-out reports in investigating abuse reports

This bill is strictly a starting point and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to reform our state’s child protection laws and systems. I am hopeful that my colleagues and I will continue working to see that these laws are reformed in such a way to ensure that the safety of Minnesota’s children is the top priority when dealing with instances of domestic abuse.

February Forecast Numbers Released

Today, legislators received information on the February budget forecast. This budget forecast is important because it gives the legislature a better understanding of the financial situation of the state and helps us craft a budget.

The Office of Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) revealed that the state now has a nearly $1.9 billion dollar surplus. The same report indicated that the surplus is in large part due to the fact that cheaper oil allows consumers to spend more money on non-gasoline related purchases. Also, if inflation were factored in, the surplus number would likely be smaller.

Today’s news proves that hardworking Minnesotans are over-taxed. Last biennium, Democrats raised taxes by $2.1 billion dollars. So is it really any wonder that we have a surplus? Remember, surpluses come from hardworking taxpayers, not the government.

I am committed to seeing that Minnesotans are able to keep more of their hard-earned money and that our priorities match those that matter most to Minnesotans.

Aging and Long Term Care Committee Visits Faribault

On Friday, the Aging and Long Term Care Committee had an official hearing in Faribault. The hearing, which was held at the Faribault Senior Center, gave local residents the opportunity to testify and share their stories with committee members.

We heard from a number of nursing home and care facility employees and directors who told the committee of the struggles they have in finding and retaining care-givers.

Many of the testimonies were emotional and reinforced the issues that our rural nursing homes are facing on a daily basis.

I am hopeful that their needs will be prioritized as the budget continues to come together. These care givers are heroes and they deserve to be a priority.

Staying in Touch

As always, please feel free to contact me via 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: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Sincerely,

Mary

Rep. Mary Franson (08B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

It was an exciting first full week of session at the Capitol as committees kicked into high gear. I am excited to share with you some of the things that took place at the Capitol this week.

Federal Tax Conformity Bill

The House passed its first bill on Thursday of this week. HF 6 conforms Minnesota’s tax code to some of the federal changes that have taken place since 2013 as they pertain to taxes filed for 2014. When all is said and done, this bill provides $19.9 million in immediate tax relief to Minnesotans for the 2014 tax year. Included in the bill is a higher education tuition deduction, an educator classroom expenses deduction, and a mortgage insurance premiums deduction. Hard working Minnesotans pay enough taxes as it is. That’s why I’m glad that the first bill that the new House Republican Majority passed leaves more money in taxpayers’ pockets.

Tax filing season begins January 20th. Please make sure to contact your local tax accountant for any information you may need when filing your taxes this year.

Committees Begin

Committees began in earnest this week and I am excited to begin working on the problems that matter most to Minnesotans. I am honored to be serving on four committees this session. However, I am most looking forward to my work on the Agriculture Policy Committee where I am serving as vice-chair. Our work in this committee will focus on easing the burden on Minnesota’s farmers in an effort to help our agriculture industry continue to flourish and grow. The agriculture industry is the largest economic driver in Greater Minnesota and a vital component to our way of life. I am committed to refocusing state government’s priorities on Greater Minnesota and Minnesota’s farmers because when all of Minnesota does well, not just the Twin Cities, we all do well.

Staying in Touch

As always, please feel free to contact me via 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: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Sincerely,

Mary

FRANSON NAMED VICE CHAIR

ST. PAUL – House Speaker-designate Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) announced today that Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) will serve as the Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity to have a hand in crafting legislation to help our state’s agriculture community. One out of five jobs in Minnesota are agriculture-related. We need to look at ways to ease the burden on our farmers and help grow the agriculture industry,” said Franson. “I’m also thrilled that both of the agriculture committees in the House will be chaired by legislators from Greater Minnesota, not Minneapolis.”

Franson will serve alongside House Agriculture Policy Committee Chairman Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck), a farmer who represents the area just south of Franson’s district.