Senate Report: What has been happening in the final days of the session

Published 8:45 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

Friends and neighbors,

We are almost to the finish line of the 2022 legislative session. The Minnesota Constitution sets a deadline for the end of each year’s session: the first Monday after the third Saturday in May. This year that falls on Monday, May 23. While we are fast approaching the deadline, there are still many moving pieces. As it comes together, I want to assure you I have been working hard on legislation to help better the lives of all Minnesotans.

Gene Dornink

Again, this session, I introduced legislation that allowed school districts to employ a person who meets the professional requirements as “short-call substitute teachers.” Last year, this bill passed the Senate 36-29 as a standalone bill and part of the Omnibus Education bill, but the Democratic-controlled House would not accept it. This three-year pilot program would temporarily allow a community member with relevant experience and a background check to fill the gaps in our schools. Working with Rep. Mueller, we have made minor changes to the bill in an attempt for a universal agreement. This bill was heard on the Senate floor this week, but unfortunately, after a disagreement with Democrats, I was asked to table the bill. I will continue to fight hard and try to find agreement for this legislation to ensure our children have teachers in the classroom.

The shortage of staffing, especially substitute teachers, existed before the pandemic, and it will continue to exist after. I continuously hear from superintendents and educators that they need help finding staff and filling vacancies. We must come together to find a solution!

Another priority for me this session was meaningful tax relief that helps support hard-working Minnesotans’ budgets. Everyone is struggling to combat the rising prices of essential everyday items, and the best thing government can do is give your hard-earned money back. Specifically, I introduced a bill that would remove all taxes on social security incomes. Minnesota is one of 13 states that still tax Social Security. I am proud the Minnesota Senate has now passed legislation removing the tax on Social Security income twice this session, and the House Democrats are finally coming to the table to discuss this crucial issue.

Follow me on Facebook.com/SenatorGeneDornink to stay up to date on the closing days of session. It has been my honor and privilege to work for you this legislative session. Please don’t hesitate to contact me! You can send me an email at sen.gene.dornink@senate.com or give me a call at 651-296-5240.

 Republican Gene Dornink is the District 27 senator.