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

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Update of state's economy and more from St. Paul

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

Congratulations to the Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team for recently winning the NSIC tournament and earning an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II national tournament. I took a few moments this week to commend the Mustangs on the House floor. Click here for that video and good luck to SMSU in the big dance. Tournament seeds are scheduled to be announced Sunday night.

As for news from the Capitol, Minnesota Management& Budget on Tuesday issued an updated state economic forecast and it projects a $1.65 billion surplus through the 2018-19 biennium – an increase of about $250 million over the previous full forecast issued in December.

Still, the MMB report warns that significant risks remain for our state, with federal policy uncertainty in international trade and health care that could impact our state’s economy.

Our approach in the House will remain the same. The revenue provides an opportunity to support top priorities such as tax relief, education and senior care. At the same time, we need to make sure we set a responsible overall budget total which lowers the trajectory of spending growth to provide long-term stability and insulate us against those economic uncertainties.

The framework provided by this economic forecast will allow budget work to hit full stride, so look for more on this subject in the weeks and months ahead.

To update a few of the bills I have authored:

  • H.F. 571 provides $500,000 to fight noxious weeds such as Palmer amaranth has made its way through the committee process and is available for inclusion in a larger package of bills later this session. Palmer amaranth has made headlines in recent months for the serious threat it is posing by chocking out our state’s crops.
  • H.F. 124 prohibits road authorities from regulating when ditches may or may not be mowed and also prevents requiring permits to be obtained for mowing. This bill is ready for a vote of the full House.
  • H.F. 1242 requires cities to provide 10-day notice when implementing ordinances that affect business licenses. Communication needs to be a two-way street and, while this is still a work in progress, I have worked with Minnesota cities to develop language that’s agreeable to all sides.

Stay in touch, look for more news soon and have a good weekend.