The legislative session wrapped up, and despite some murmurs about a special session, as of this writing, we have not been called back.

Overall, the session had some highs and lows. Minnesota law enforcement needs more funding and support, and we need harsher punishments for criminals. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of my colleagues in Committee, House Democrats would not fund law enforcement and they would not increase penalties for repeat offenders. I expect our crime rates to continue to skyrocket without any action.

An education bill was not brought to the floor either. This bill would have allowed parents to take back control of the classroom.

Tax cuts were not given this year. With the state surplus and a fully-funded budget, why were we not able to give some relief to all of our citizens? I am disappointed with the lack of action regarding tax relief and that will be my main focus next session.

Looking ahead, we need tax relief and relief from these absurdly high gas prices and inflation costs on every product. I am hopeful that in the coming year, these things will settle to more affordable levels.

One high of the legislative session was bringing my first bill to the House Floor. The House passed my bill on licensee education. This bill defines online classes as they pertain to licensee education statutes. Despite the House passage, the Senate took no action.

The Front-Line Worker Pay Bonus Applications are now available. This was another highlight of the session. I appreciate the hard work of all of our front-line workers, and I am glad we can say thanks, though in a small way. Eligible workers can apply at frontlinepay.mn.gov, but remember, you only have until July 22 to apply.

Farmers should also be aware of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s 2021 Agriculture Drought Relief Program. The legislature appropriated $8.1 million for the program that will reimburse farmers for drought-related expenses incurred between June 1, 2021, and May 23, 2022. That application is expected to be available next week, and more information can be found at mda.state.mn.us/droughtrelief.

Minnesota summers are my favorite season. I hope you will take the time to enjoy all that Minnesota has to offer and get to spend some time with your family. My phone (651-296-7065) and email (rep.brian.pfarr@house.mn) are always on if you ever need anything. Please reach out.

Brian Pfarr, R-Le Sueur, represents District 20A in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

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