The 2021 legislative session is over, but my colleagues and I have continued working. We use the months between legislative sessions to learn more about the issues Minnesotans are facing and work with them to find solutions.
The interim also gives us an opportunity to connect with other legislators and policy experts. This weekend, for example, I attended the annual meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC)’s Council of State Governments in South Dakota.
On Saturday, we visited a bison farm, a fish hatchery, and an outdoor education center to learn about conservation efforts. The day after that, I attended a roundtable discussion on cybersecurity and agriculture. Cybersecurity issues are emerging in this industry as farmers and food producers rely more and more on technology and automation. This event gave me the chance to hear how these issues are developing across the Midwest and what other state legislatures are doing to address them. Learning about what has and hasn’t worked in other places will help us tackle this issue in Minnesota.
As a member of the MLC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, I also had the opportunity to submit and vote on resolutions. While they aren’t binding, these statements help bring attention to important regional issues and build momentum. We approved resolutions on truth in food labeling and chronic wasting disease. A resolution on conservation that I supported did not prevail.
Lastly, Minnesota has learned that state general fund revenues were $2.684 billion above forecast amounts for FY 2021 (the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021). Click here to read a report with more information from Minnesota Management and Budget.
If you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your input will help guide my decisions as I start preparing for the next legislative session.