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

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Recap of Week 1 in the House

Friday, February 23, 2018

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It was great seeing people from our area during a Farm Bureau event this week at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. It’s always enjoyable to discuss ag issues – especially with familiar local faces. Ag is crucial to our way of life in Greater Minnesota and it means more to our friends in the Cities than they even may realize!

Dear Neighbor,

The 2018 legislative session officially began in St. Paul this week with members returning to the Capitol. We really have a full plate and I’m looking forward to getting down to business, rolling up our sleeves and getting the job done for rural Minnesota.

The first week was spent getting organized and back into the flow of meetings. Next week is when committees will start digging into their respective subject issues. I am continuing my post as chairman of the Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry, and Tourism, while also serving four other House committees:

  • Commerce and Regulatory Reform
  • Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance
  • Government Operations and Elections Policy
  • Rules and Legislative Administration

One of the biggest newsmakers this week came when on Wednesday when Gov. Mark Dayton asked lawmakers for another $10 million to prop up what has been a disastrous rollout of the state’s new system for vehicle licensing/registration.

I have written about this subject in previous emails, but things just keep getting worse. It’s bad enough that $100 million in taxpayer money already has been spent on this broken MNLARS system. It became more disgusting when the governor and his administration recently asked for another $43 million.

Legislators responded to the $43 million request by sending a letter asking for more information regarding why they say it is needed. A response to that letter still has not been received, yet the governor and his administration are back at it, now asking for $10 million more.

The bottom line is taxpayers are not government’s ATMs and we are not going to just hand over more money for this project. Transparency and accountability are basic expectations in this process and we will settle for nothing less.

On a final note, citizens are invited to attend a “Be Ready for B20” workshop sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council March 6 in Marshall.

The workshop is one of a dozen to be conducted throughout the state. The stated goal is to help the industry prepare for the step up to the requirement for 20-percent biodiesel content on May 1 and “understand the benefits of the fuel and how it will impact fuel providers and end users.”

The workshop will be 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 6 at AmericInn Lodge & Suites, 1406 E. Lyon St., Marshall. Additional information regarding these workshops is available at this link.