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Hopefully we’ve seen the last big snowstorm of the winter and some warmer weather is just around the corner. Our schedules are packed here at the Capitol with a little over two months to go in the session. Here’s an update from St. Paul:
Fixing Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS)
Last Thursday, in an effort to retain the contractors responsible for fixing MNLARS, Rep. Rick Hansen tried to resolve funding issues that would result in layoffs. Republicans refused to take action, resulting in the loss of contractors and subjecting Minnesotans to additional delays.
MN.IT, the agency responsible for MNLARS has brought in new leadership who have a detailed roadmap to avoid mistakes of the past. But without contractors, Minnesotans around the state will see greater delays in fixing problems with the system. I’m concerned for the residents of our state – from drivers and auto dealers to deputy registrars – who rely on a functioning system to go about their lives.
While I believe we must solve the problem as soon as possible to relieve the stress and inconvenience that Minnesotans are experiencing, it seems the House majority sees no urgency in the situation and has done nothing over the past week to fix it.
Burnsville High School visitors
Students from Burnsville High School spent a day at the Capitol this week. I hope it was as good of an experience for them as it was for me! The high school always does an excellent job of getting the students here, having them research bills, and preparing them to speak with their representatives.
Freeway Landfill update
Last week, the House Environment Committee heard an overview from the MPCA about its plans for investigating and cleaning up the Freeway Landfill and dump site. As I’ve said before, it’s important to fix this issue and see it through without delays once the work begins.
This is a complicated situation, so I’ll be taking stock of the short and long-term implications of this project while hearing or taking votes on potential legislation.
Rare Disease Day
I attended a program on February 28 to recognize Rare Disease Day. The event included a speaker from NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders. We have a number of people with rare diseases in our district so it was an informative and interesting program. I recently signed on to HF 2574, a bill that creates a rare disease advisory council.
If you have any thoughts or concerns you’d like to share, I encourage you to reach out to me here at the Capitol.
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