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Legislative Update: Bob Dettmer on the State of the State and Gun Control

Dettmer writes about Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address, gun control and the bills he is working on in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Editor’s Note: The following is a news release from Rep. Bob Dettmer’s (R-Forest Lake). Dettmer represents the Stillwater area in Minnesota House District 39A.

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On Wednesday, Governor Dayton delivered his annual State of the State address.

Dozens of business owners from throughout the state were special guests of House Republican for the evening. The business owners participated in a very productive roundtable discussion with House members prior to Dayton's speech. They shared a wide variety of thoughts and concerns regarding Minnesota's business climate.

I was proud to invite O.J. Rinehart, Founder and Owner of Interstate Companies in Forest Lake.

The governor started his speech by highlighting many of the good things which have transpired over the last two years, but was light on new, innovative initiatives for the future.

He first took credit for the improvements Republican-led policies brought to Minnesota the last two years. We have gained 72,000 jobs in that span, our state’s bottom line is in better shape and the 2011 K-12 shift is fully paid off.

I appreciate the Governor’s effort to highlight areas of common ground we may share, but I am also concerned about the amount of divisive issues he focused on. My main priority this year is to balance the budget wisely and put in place policies that grow our economy.

Two of my bills to make our tax code more competitive are making their way through House committees this week. Both HF67 and HF71 were heard and passed out of the Taxes Committee.

HF71 would bring our estate tax laws up to the same standard as the federal government, meaning the first $5 million of an estate would be exempt from state taxes. Many family farms and other estates are in jeopardy of huge penalties under current law when in reality those estates have already been paid for through other taxes.

Many of you have contacted me about gun legislation that was heard at the Capitol this week.

The Minnesota House Public Safety Committee spent most of this week debating a series of bills that address gun use in our state. Hundreds of concerned citizens from across the state descended on the Capitol to voice their concerns about the bills which they believe violate the Second Amendment.

The bills included legislation requiring background checks for gun shows and private sales; limiting gun permit access for some Minnesotans; and a ban on “assault weapons.”

House Democrats need to explain why limiting our Second Amendment rights is a higher priority for them than enacting a state budget or expanding our economy.

I was excited to meet Political Science students from Forest Lake High School during their visit to St. Paul. I also had meetings with several other groups to hear their concerns on various state issues.

On Jan. 28, my son, Maj. Travis Dettmer (U.S. Army) visited me during a work day at the Capitol and I was honored to recognize him on the House floor.

Here is a video from his visit.

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