By Dean Urdahl
District 18B, State Representative
During my time between sessions I have been active in developing legislation for the March 1, 2006 session.
I have several items that I will highlight in the coming weeks. Many of my ideas for bills come from constituents, others I recognize myself and then work individually or with focus groups to formulate the legislation. I'm grateful to my constituents for their many suggestions. It's one of the reasons why I attend the many events I do.
This session I will continue to push for the Investment Tax Credit for Dairy. I developed this legislation by meeting with agriculture groups two years ago. Governor Pawlenty has announced that he will include it in his supplemental budget.
Another bill that I have worked on for a couple of years is the Catch Up Program, or CUP. This will provide tax credits for job creation in counties that are currently distressed in terms of population or low job growth rate. It will help to create jobs where we need them most.
I am also introducing a bill authorizing specialty license plates with an anti-drug message. The proceeds from the bill will be used to fund methamphetamine treatment programs. The design for the plate will be selected from submissions by Minnesota students and we will launch a petition campaign for people interested in purchasing the plates.
School security is an even more important issue in light of increased school violence. I am formulating a bill for introduction that will address the number of lockdown drills and security education for school personnel.
I also will seek inclusion for a couple of projects in the bonding bill. I’m currently researching and seeking opinions on numerous other pieces of legislation including how open enrollment is funded, eminent domain, feedlot permitting and others.
While introducing a bill certainly doesn’t guarantee passage, I will continue to work for projects that positively impact Minnesotans, particularly those in rural areas.