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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Duane Quam (R)

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News from Rep. Quam (04-12-18)

Thursday, April 12, 2018


We're back to work in Saint Paul after taking a brief break for Easter & Passover. Next Friday is the third deadline, meaning the session is getting close to wrapping up and committees are busy hearing many bills each day. 

I will be attending Eggs & Issues tomorrow with the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. Hope to see some of you there! 

Buffer Law Comment Period 

This week, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) introduced a proposed Administrative Penalty Order (APO) last week that would fine farmers out of compliance with Minnesota's riparian buffer law by up to $500 per linear foot, which could result in thousands of dollars in fines annually for farmers who are even a few feet out of compliance across their entire property.

The Dayton Administration is once again showing it’s no friend to farmers, choosing to push excessive and overreaching one-size-fits-all policies, instead of partnering with our strong agriculture community in Minnesota. There is a short public comment period on these proposed penalties, and I would highly encourage you to let BWSR and the Dayton Administration know this proposal is oppressive and simply unacceptable. We all share the goal of clean waters and protecting our environment, but once again state agencies are out of touch and doing more harm than good. We should stand together against the Dayton Administration's latest aggression against Minnesota's farmers. Together, working as partners on the same team, we can achieve better results in a more timely manner.

The public comment period lasts until 4:30 PM on Monday, April 16, 2018, and comments can be submitted by email to, or by U.S. Mail at the following address:

Tom Gile
Buffers and Soil Loss Operations Supervisor
Board of Soil and Water Resources
3555 9th Street NW, Suite 350
Rochester, MN 55901

Following an outcry from farmers and legislators on their behalf, Governor Dayton himself has begun to cast doubt on the implementation on this proposed version of the rule. I will keep you up to date on this important issue for many in our community. 

Budget Target Time

We are now in the process of setting and creating our supplemental budget targets. I have spoken up on and pushed for using a portion of the surplus on cash towards roads and bridges. Highway 14 needs to be completed, and it is past time it gets funded. I am a coauthor on bills to do this. I’ve also pushed for school safety and equitable per pupil funding. Too many districts in SE Minnesota are thousands of dollars per student below the state average. 

I have, over the years, authored bills and amendments to add funding outside the formula for each student. We need to define a proper base funding for a student. This was done decades ago, and a formula was added to it. Since then dollars have been added to the formula, and the base per-student funding has lagged. Education MN and other powerful groups fight any and all efforts to fix this. I have been working with a growing number of House members to push for equity. Your letters and voice are needed too.


Law Enforcement Memorial License Plates

During the 2017 session, I authored a bill to create a special license plate whose proceeds will go towards the Law Enforcement Memorial Association, to assist families of Minnesota law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. It was an honor to carry this legislation and see it signed into law. Below is a commemorative plaque, including an example of the license plate and two honor coins, that proudly hangs in my office. 

House Image

Meetings Since My Last Update

Since my last update, I had the great opportunity to meet with so many people and groups interested in what is going on at the legislature. A few of them include Social Worker Students from Winona State University-Rochester, the Board & Superintendent from the Kasson-Mantorville School District, University of Minnesota Regents candidate Dr. Brooks Edwards, DHS staff, officials from Rochester Public Utilities for Municipal Water/Electric Issues, and officials from Regions Hospital. 

Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts and ideas on issues important to you. You can schedule a time to meet with me in my office anytime by calling (651) 296-9236, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at

Have a great weekend,