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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative Update (4-1-16)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

On Tuesday, the House approved legislation that would allow lawmakers and state agencies to prepare to bring Minnesota into federal REAL ID compliance.

In January, Minnesota received news from the federal government that it had until 2018 to develop REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses in order for Minnesotans to be able to board commercial aircraft.

Tuesday’s vote officially begins this process and I am committed to ensuring Minnesota is indeed compliant while also protecting citizens’ private data.

To be perfectly clear—no Minnesota traveler will have their travel plans impacted for at least two years due to REAL ID, but no one wants to wait that long. That’s why I am happy that we got the ball rolling on Tuesday.

I had a bill heard before the Job Growth and Energy Committee on Wednesday that would establish a position of property rights ombudsman at the Public Utilities Commission. This position would assist landowners whose property may be affected by the construction of electric generating facilities and similar projects.

In establishing this position, we can give homeowners impartial information regarding the right-of-way acquisition process as well as the legal rights and options afforded to property owners.

In addition to this piece of legislation, I had a bill before the Agriculture Finance Committee that would appropriate funds for communication and technology improvements at the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) in Marshall.

Finally, legislation I authored that would establish a grant for Southwest Minnesota State University to design an online special education teaching program was heard in the Education Finance Committee.   

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these issues or anything else before the legislature, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-5374 or via email at

Have a great weekend!