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Legislative Update from Rep. Torrey Westrom

Rep. Torrey Westrom

Last week the House was busy, with a focus on education bills as well as the governor's annual State of the State Address.

LIFO, the "last in, first out" policy at times can hinder students from being taught by the best teachers. The bill, passed Thursday, would remove this barrier so that teachers who have the qualities that students deserve are placed in the classroom to improve student achievement. Seniority privileges should not be the only criteria to decide who remains in the classroom - our students deserve the best instruction. HF 1870 would add teacher's licensures and effectiveness as additional criteria for school boards to use in unrequested leave situations.

Also concerning education we passed a bill that adds content to the current parent notice about early childhood development screening programs. The added content to this law will inform parents that childhood development screenings help the district identify children who may benefit from available community resources and that the vision screening, while helpful in detecting potential eye problems, is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.

During a joint convention with the Senate and House the governor gave his annual State of the State Address on Wednesday evening. He talked about job creation and education, as well as government reform, of which we can all agree on are a priority during this session. I was surprised the governor already vetoed four job creation bills this session that had great bi-partisan support. It is my hope going forward, hearing his positive attitude last night that he will work with us, and give Minnesota job creators the tools they need to expand and stay in Minnesota.

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact my office by calling 1-800-711-2620 or 651-296-4929 or by emailing me at

Don't forget to take my 2012 legislative survey.

Warmest Regards,