The final week of February has officially come to a close. Thank you to those of you who took time out of your busy schedules to visit my office this past week. It is always great to meet with folks from back in our district.

Tomorrow’s Property Tax Listening Session

House Property Tax Committee Chair, Steve Drazkowski and I will be holding a property tax listening session in Morris on Saturday, February 28 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. I strongly encourage you to attend if you are concerned about rising property taxes.

Bill to Improve Child Protection Clears House

On Monday, House File 8, passed the House on a unanimous vote of 130-0. 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 out of the 26-member Governor's Task Force on Child Protection earlier this year. Rep. Kresha serves as the House Republican representative on the Governor's Task Force on Child Protection. The two provisions in the bill include:

  • Placing child health and safety as the paramount concern when making child protection decisions.
  • Reversing a law passed in 2013 that barred consideration of screened-out reports in investigating abuse reports
  • This bill is a first step toward fixing Minnesota's child protection system and making sure no child slips through the cracks. I am pleased that my colleagues and I have worked in a bipartisan fashion to help protect Minnesota children and make sure every child is kept safe and has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

    Constituent Visits

    Thank you to those of you who made it out to Sen. Westrom’s and I’s town hall meetings that took place last Friday. It was great to meet with and speak with many of you.

    Kayla Finlay and Rep. Jeff Backer

    Kayla Finlay and Rep. Jeff Backer

    On Thursday, I visited with Kayla Findlay about the need to recruit more physical therapists to Greater Minnesota. Thank you for stopping by Kayla and sharing your ideas!

    Ortonville Town Hall Meeting

    Ortonville Town Hall Meeting

    Thank you to those of you who made it out to our town halls! This photo was taken in Ortonville, our fourth of five stops last Friday.

    Austin Barsness and Rep. Jeff Backer

    Austin Barsness and Rep. Jeff Backer

    Austin Barsness of Brandon is one of eight high school pages serving at the Capitol this week. Congratulations Austin!

    Campbell Tintah Student and Teachers

    Campbell Tintah Student and Teachers

    On Tuesday, Roy Mayeda, Skylar Niesche & Brandon Meyer from Campbell-Tintah Public Schools testified in support of HF618. This bill supports funding for the Red River Watch Program. Also pictured is Senator Torrey Westrom.

    McKenna Larson and Rep. Jeff Backer

    McKenna Larson and Rep. Jeff Backer

    McKenna Larson of Wheaton was at the Capital on Thursday for FCCLA Shadow a Legislator for a Day program.

    Staying Connected

    If you are planning on being in St. Paul this session, please feel free to contact my office by phone at 651-296-4929 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to set up an appointment. I would love to meet with you and talk about ways we can make Minnesota better. Again, it is an honor and privilege to represent you and your family for the next two years. I am here to be YOUR voice in St. Paul and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

    Thanks and talk to you soon,

    Jeff

 

Small business owner Jeff Backer ran for office so he could help Minnesotans by tackling the current challenges facing our state.We are proud to welcome him to Team GOP!

Rep. Backer serves on three committees:

  • Agriculture Policy
  • Health and Human Services Finance
  • Health and Human Services Reform

Education And Work Life

Rep. Backer grew up in Browns Valley and is a lifelong resident of Western Minnesota. Rep. Backer has been busy since High School when he worked multiple jobs to save money for college. He logged hours at his father's mechanic operation, worked for area farmers, and started a lawn-care business. That hard work paid off when, in 1991, Rep. Backer graduated from St. Cloud State University with degrees in Chemistry and Public Administration.

Rep. Backer and his brother started an online catalog business in Browns Valley in the early nineties. Through hard work and determination they grew that business to 14 employees. In all, Rep. Backer has been a small business owner for 23 years!

Volunteer And Community Involvement

For the last 11 years, Rep. Backer has been a leader at the Zion Lutheran Church in Browns Valley where he is an active member. He has also served as a volunteer EMT in Browns Valley since 1995.

Rep. Backer's political efforts began in 2000 when he was first elected to the Browns Valley City Council. He served as a council member for 4 years before being elected as mayor in 2004. He served 3 terms as Mayor, focusing on keeping taxes low, streamlining government to cut costs, and helping the city of Browns Valley recovery from a major flood in 2007.

Rep. Backer has served as a member of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training and has also served as a School Board Member in Browns Valley District 801.

Rep. Backer and his wife Judy have one daughter, Brittany.

We are thrilled to welcome Rep. Backer to Team GOP as he seeks to create effective reforms that put Minnesota families first!

 
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