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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - December 18, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I recently attended the Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation District’s Annual Meeting and learned about their important conservation work for Minnesota.

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Listening Session

Sen. Klein, Rep.-elect Richardson and I are hosting a Listening Session tomorrow night to preview the 2019 session. We will meet at the Inver Glen Library in Inver Grover Heights at 6:30 p.m. There will be some light refreshments, and I hope you can join us.

WHAT: Listening Session with Senate District 52 Legislators

WHO: Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL – South St. Paul), Sen. Matt Klein (DFL – Mendota Heights) and Rep.-elect Ruth Richardson (DFL – Mendota Heights)

WHEN: Wednesday, December 19, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Inver Glen Library, 8098 Blaine Ave, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 55076

Mental Health

There have been some concerns in our area regarding the availability of mental health services, and I’ve particularly heard about this from those in South St. Paul. Through hosting forms, trainings, and posting resources on their webpage, Dakota County Public Health has worked with the community, including our school districts, to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Much work remains in front of all of us to understand warning signs, direct folks in need to resources, and prevent mental health stigma.

Dakota County has a 24-hour crisis hotline available at 952-891-7171. Don’t hesitate to call for immediate help.

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

Last legislative session, in a constitutionally dubious move, the Republican-controlled Legislature raided proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery, constitutionally-dedicated to protect our clean air and water for other projects in the bonding bill (I voted against this bill). This money, within the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund, should go toward protecting our public lands, waters and air. Several organizations have even sued the state as a result of this.

I’ve drafted a bill to largely correct this action. The legislation would convert the trust fund appropriation bonds to state General Obligation bonds. The bill also repeals the provisions related to the appropriation bonding and the statutory changes made to the trust fund law. It leaves alone a provision requiring the Public Facilities Authority to report to the legislature on funding needs for Wastewater Infrastructure Funding (WIF) and Point Source Implementation Grants - an expanded version of a requirement that is also earlier in the law.

You can see a copy of the bill here.

Ralph Plaisted and the Least Likely North Pole Adventure Crew

Check out this account from the Adventure Journal about Ralph Plaisted’s journey to the North Pole. Plaisted, who made the trip with Charles Kuralt, among others, nearly perished in the 1967 excursion. This is a classic story about resilience, danger, and resourcefulness.

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