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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

If you like to boat or fish, chances are you’ve already been shaking your head over a new, non-consequential law that forces you to jump through more government hoops in order for you to enjoy your summer recreation.

According to a law passed in 2012 that was championed by the Department of Natural Resources, on July 1 boaters must display an aquatic invasive species (AIS) decal on your boat trailer or any other trailer that’s used to haul water-related equipment. In order to receive this decal, a person must successfully complete an AIS training course with the DNR.

So what if you’re from Wisconsin and want to launch your boat on a Minnesota lake? Under the law, you’d have to receive training if you wanted to be legal.

What are the consequences of not taking the training or having a decal? There aren’t any. Literally, nothing can be done if you haven’t taken the class.

And we wonder why people are fatigued and become disgusted with an overzealous government.

Here’s a law that simply forced Minnesotans to take time out of their busy lives to learn more about the dangers of zebra mussels and certain plant species that many of them already can discuss knowledgeably.

The DNR has since heard the rightful backlash from the public and has postponed the training program. The agency has also asked the legislature to clean up the mess it supported three years ago.

You can’t make this up.

This law is fundamentally flawed and places more onerous requirements on people. The DNR is hoping the Legislature will now modify the AIS training law so it can be more successfully implemented because the previous version was poorly drafted.

In response, I have chief authored legislation that will make things crystal clear for everyone. It’s a full repeal. The bill passed its first committee without opposition and will be scheduled for its second committee stop soon.

Boaters and anglers already are facing a number of requirements. They already know the problems aquatic invasive species cause. We don’t need them to waste more time, and potentially more of their money, in order to satisfy the DNR’s insatiable appetite for increased regulations.

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