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

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Legislative Update (4-22-16)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

On Thursday, the House approved legislation that provides some clarification on last year’s buffer bill.

Last year, the legislature passed changes to buffer laws that largely helped avert Governor Dayton's initial proposal of a one-size-fits-all 50-foot buffer zone around all state waterways, instead passing a compromise that protected farmers and ensured local control of buffer enforcement and implementation.

Thursday’s bill improves last year’s legislation by removing the problematic "benefitted area" language that Governor Dayton misinterpreted in an attempt to expand buffer requirements to private ditches, and ensures fair compensation for farmers by requiring that compensation be based on property value prior to buffer installation.

I urge landowners and operators to double check the DNR's maps when they become available in their county to ensure that any mistakes are quickly corrected.

In addition to this bill, I had a piece of legislation approved by the House on Monday that would make changes to gambling regulations. Included in the changes is a requirement that cities and counties who require gambling organizations to contribute ten percent of their net profits for charitable purposes to acknowledge the source of the contributions.

Additionally, I had a provision included in the House’s supplemental Jobs bill that expands the definition of costs eligible for recovery under the Petrofund petroleum cleanup program.

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!