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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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Congrats Pelican athletes; more Green Acres action

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Neighbors- Before we get down to the business at hand today, I would like to take a moment to recognize some Pelican Rapids Vikings athletes for their outstanding achievements. First, Vikings senior McKale Evenson deserves a pat on the back for winning a state championship in wrestling; it is the first Park Rapids wrestling championship. Evenson outscored his opponents 36-8 on his way to the Class A title at 215 pounds. The Pelican Rapids boys basketball team also should be congratulated for winning the subsection championship, putting the Vikings one game from state. Good luck to Pelican Rapids as it faces Crosby-Ironton Friday, with a section title and state tournament berth on the line. As for news from the Legislature, there were 17 Green Acres bills heard by the Taxes and Property Tax and Local Sales Tax Division Tuesday night in St. Paul. It was an informational meeting and there were no votes taken. Spreadsheets were provided that compared the bills so in a reader-friendly format. It is good that we have such a large number of legislators working to fix the harmful changes the Legislature made last year to the Green Acres agricultural land program. Some of the bills repeal the damaging changes, while others fix the worst elements and some others added a new program. One bill delays making corrections for a year, but that was not received well. The bills will now go to other committees and the hope is eventually things will be boiled down for introduction on the House floor. One thing we are learning is how long it can take to fix problems caused by changes that were made in a hurry last year. On the budget front, Gov. Pawlenty issued his amended budget proposal this week. It accounts for an updated budget forecast and factors in federal stimulus money. Now it’s up to the Legislature to provide a response. We face a $4.6 billion deficit and two months to erase it before the session will adjourn. I’ll keep you in the loop as things unfold. Until next time, Bud --30-- Nornes represents District 10A in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and can be reached at (800) 336-8017 or by e-mail at rep.bud.nornes@house.mn.
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