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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Thursday, March 30, 2006
By Dean Urdahl District 18B, State Representative There have been new developments in several of the issues I have written about or included in my weekly email updates. I’d like to provide brief updates here on those issues. INVASIVE SPECIES A provision tucked into Governor Pawlenty’s supplemental budget recommendations would build on the Aquatic Invasive Species Fund I proposed last year. The governor is asking the Legislature for $508,000 to hire new workers to work specifically on eradicating invasive species. My bill, which I am bringing forward again this year, would raise between $5 million and $6 million through the sale of a $10 decal that would be placed on all watercraft used in public waters. CLEAN WATER The Clean Water Legacy Act received a boost last week when the House Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee approved a $40 million plan to bring us into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act of 1972. If this funding goes through, it could allow Annandale and Maple Lake to continue with their joint wastewater treatment facility, which the courts blocked last year due to the fact that the state had no clean water plan in place as required by federal law. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS The bill I introduced in February to require schools to develop crisis management policies has received approval from two committees and awaits a hearing in a third. I am hoping to get this bill to the House floor for all members to vote on prior to the Easter holiday. BONDING Speaking of Easter, the bonding bill is still on track to pass in the week before the Easter break. The Senate surprisingly passed its $990 million bonding bill last week and the House bonding committee is taking final project recommendations this week. GOPHER STADIUM By now you have probably heard about the proposed land swap to raise money for an on-campus Gopher football stadium. Early indications are that this proposal has more than enough support to pass, so I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility to say that we will act on a Gopher football stadium before the session adjourns. -30-
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