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

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Legislative mailbag

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

It’s been great seeing so many area residents out and about at local events this summer. I continue receiving great feedback from people and it is nice to have face-to-face talks about the issues.

Economy is strong

The economy is a subject people often bring up and this week we received more good news on that front. Minnesota Management & Budget issued a supplemental economic report and it reveals that, through the first six months of this year, the state has taken in $348 million (1.6 percent) more than projected in the last full forecast from February. MMB reports that General fund revenues for FY 2018 are now estimated to be 4.7 percent greater than in FY 2017.

Tax relief enacted at both the state and federal levels is partly to credit for this surge. The historic tax relief we led to enactment this biennium ($650 million in reductions for 2018-19 and $790 million for 2020-21) is producing results. I am proud to have supported the legislation to make that happen, benefiting practically all Minnesotans one way or another.

Flood relief

Flood relief also has been in the news of late and this week fellow District 16 legislators and I issued a joint news release to share information with southwestern Minnesota residents impacted by recent severe storms. The recent torrential rains, flash flooding, and tornadoes led Governor Dayton to declare a state of emergency in 36 Minnesota counties, including Brown, Lyon, Redwood and Renville in District 16.

Farmers in the counties subject to the disaster declaration may be eligible for low- or no-interest loans to help with recovery efforts. Farmers can apply for the zero-percent Disaster Loan Program offered by the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority. The program is designed to help cover clean-up cost, repair and replacement costs not covered by insurance.

Call the RFA at 651-201-6004 or visit for more information.

Other resources include:

Beware of recovery scammers

We also are encouraging people to make sure they are working with local sources to complete recovery efforts. This is a time when we are rolling up our sleeves and pitching in to do what it takes to help recover from the flooding. Unfortunately, scammers have been known to try to take advantage of these situations by preying on people who are just trying to do the right things to restore their property. Please use extra caution in the services you contract, and the best way to do that is to work with local businesses and companies that have trusted track records.

Mining news

As chair of the House Subcommittee on Mining Forestry and Tourism, I was pleased to see Wednesday’s announcement that the state is reinstating the mineral leases for Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC, which is seeking to complete the former Essar Steel taconite mine and processing plant in Nashwauk.

It is good to see the right decision was made on this issue so that more good-paying jobs and an economic bump can be brought to our state and benefit a region that could use a lift. I look forward to seeing this valuable mining project now move forward and am encouraged by the positive impacts this facility will have on the Iron Range and beyond.

Have a good weekend,