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

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Roundup from the House

Friday, May 11, 2018

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Thanks to the Canby school group for coming to the Capitol this week. It was good to see you and I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Dear Neighbor,

This week we hosted representatives from TeenPact Leadership Schools. TeenPact gives students ages 8-19 a hands-on learning experience at the State Capitol, focused on state government and leadership training. Through TeenPact, young people quickly discover how to embrace their call as the next generation of leaders through the unique teaching and opportunities TeenPact provides. TeenPact is currently in 42 other states, and in March 2019, they will open this dynamic opportunity in Minnesota. For more information click on this link.

Final stretch

Next week marks the final full week of the 2018 legislative session, meaning negotiations are ongoing as we look to gain agreement with the Senate and the governor on major legislation such as a supplemental budget package and tax relief we already have approved in the House.

Veteran honored

The House has been bringing single-subject bills to the floor, including one to honor the late Gen. John Vessey, an Army hero who lived in Minnesota for a number of years. We approved a bill designating June 29 – Vessey’s birthday – as Gen. John Vessey Day in Minnesota. Among his long list of accolades, Vessey was selected by President Ronald Reagan to lead the nation’s military forces as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Real ID update

We have received word from the federal government that Minnesota’s standard state ID/driver’s license will continue to suffice in boarding commercial, domestic flights at least until Oct. 1, 2020 (as long as we continue making adequate progress on implementing our new Real ID system that is necessary to comply with heightened federal security standards.

Turbine tech

I also want to mention that I recently spoke about a bill of mine on the House floor, not in an attempt to help it become law, rather to spur technology.

My H.F. 3792 is a bill that would require wind companies to implement radar-activated lighting systems that turn blinking lights atop wind turbines and tall towers on and off depending on whether aircraft is in the vicinity. These Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems can reduce light pollution by remaining dark most of the time, lighting up only when necessary to serve as beacons.

I brought up this subject in the House because I hope the Minnesota wind industry will embrace ADLS technology and deploy it in all new construction. It should be our goal that ADSL be deployed and retrofitted in all existing wind farms.”

Turbines are a major component in our future and 14 months ago the first operational radar-based lighting tech was launched in Wyoming. He added that two years ago, the FAA added a new Chapter 14 that introduced performing guidelines for radar-activated lighting technologies.

I’m not big on mandates, so my goal is all about raising awareness. North Dakota has taken a strong stand and embraced this technology for the benefit of all its citizens. There is more technology available than the status quo in light systems and we should do more to implement new systems in Minnesota.

I encourage citizens to contact their local, state and federal representatives to advocate for this technology and also urge folks to ask for the technology when visiting with wind developers.

Next week will be an important one at the Capitol as we make our way toward adjournment. Look for more news as things unfold. Until then, have a happy Mother's Day and best of luck with the fishing opener.