It’s already April and spring is just around the corner. Area golf courses are opening, the snow is (HOPEFULLY) done, and the days continue to get longer. Spring sports are starting up; good luck to all of our local teams as they begin their season!
REAL ID Moving Forward
This week, the House passed a bill to move Minnesota toward compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The bill, which was signed into law by the governor, repeals the ban on the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to research implementation steps. The good news is the Legislature still has oversight over the actual process of enactment. Once DPS reports to the House and Senate, we can draft a second bill with specifics of what steps we must take.
I’m happy we can put concerns to rest regarding flying on a commercial airplane. There’s still lots left to debate before we pass a second bill. Privacy concerns, multiple “tracks”, and cost are among the questions we’ll find answers for in the coming weeks. For now, it’s important to know you and your family can fly on an airplane without worry.
Action For Our Area
As a legislator, I sometimes look to solve problems in our district through the passing of legislation. Other times, simply working with a state agency starts the process without ever needing a bill passed. This year, I presented a bill, HF2600, to remove the narrow leaf cattail that have overtaken much of Round Lake in Andover. Thankfully, we did not need a bill to help our local lake. I recently spoke with the Round Lake Association and representatives from the DNR, and the DNR agreed to grant a permit to the association for this purpose. It’s encouraging to see tangible results for our area through simple communication.
I’m a coauthor of a bill, HF3208, to allow hunters to wear blaze pink in addition to blaze orange. This isn’t a fashion statement for one gender or the other; it helps disguise hunters from deer sight. Humans can still see the blaze pink, but the added disguise from deer assists hunters. HF3208 has broad bipartisan support, and is making its way through the legislative process.
Met Council Reform
One issue that affects our area but goes largely unnoticed is the action of the Metropolitan Council. The 17 council members represent the seven county metro area, and are tasked with improving the Twin Cities through transit, housing initiatives, and regional planning. While their goals are noble, their execution is flawed. The governor appoints all members leaving citizens NO recourse to voice their opinion if a member doesn’t represent their area well.
There’s a bill in the House to hold these unelected officials accountable. The legislation requires any appointees to be a current city council member, mayor, or county commissioner. This would give residents a chance to vote members out of office, and finally provide some voice for the people regarding the Met Council.
Please Contact Me
As always, I’m interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com or contact my office at 651-296-4231. You can also send me mail to my office address: 437 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155. I hope to hear from you!
Have a great weekend,