It’s good to be back in Minnesota! I recently returned home after spending several days at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Nashville.
My colleagues and I kept busy with committee meetings, lectures, panel discussions, and more. I spent most of my time working with other members of the National Resources and Infrastructure (NRI) Standing Committee. We discussed a diverse range of issues, including reducing carbon emissions, improving agricultural practices, making roads and bridges safer, helping rural economies thrive, and ensuring that everyone has access to clean water.
Rep. Acomb and I at one of the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee Business Meetings.
The annual NCSL event allows lawmakers from across the nation to share information about issues that their state is facing. Since many states are dealing with similar problems, it’s also a great opportunity to compare what’s being done to address them and discuss possible solutions. The work we do is also used to educate Congress and federal agencies. For example, the NRI Committee can urge Congress to take action by passing a policy directive or resolution.
This year, I successfully proposed and advocated for the adoption of two resolutions. The first calls for more research on microplastics, tiny pieces of plastic that are contaminating the Great Lakes and other bodies of water. The Star Tribune published an article about microplastics earlier today if you’d like to read more about them. The other calls for action on chronic wasting disease (CWD). Experts from the University of Minnesota have indicated that this disease – which so far has only been found in deer and similar species – could spread to humans and other animals. The Star Tribune also published a piece about CWD today. In the piece, the Editorial Board argues that the disease needs more attention at the federal level.
I also introduced a resolution urging Congress to pass the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, legislation that would review and restrict the use of pesticides that endanger pollinator species. It will be considered at the next NRI meeting.
100th Anniversary of Croatian Hall
The Croatian Hall of South St. Paul is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year! Their centennial celebration takes place on August 23 – 25 and will feature traditional live music, Croatian food, children’s activities, and more. Visit www.croatianhall.org/cro100 for more information.