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

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Legislative update

Friday, April 1, 2022

Dear Neighbor,

Here are some of the latest news and notes from the House as we wrap up another busy week at the Capitol:

House DFL push to bring Calif. fuel regs to Minn. would be costly

House Democrats conducted a hearing Tuesday for a bill (HF2083) that would increase already soaring gas prices and worsen supply-chain issues by forcing California fuel regulations on Minnesotans. 

This is just another example of tone-deaf Democrats looking to force California’s bad ideas on Minnesotans and would increase the price of gas even more. This is about the least efficient, most costly approach anyone could take if they are serious about reducing carbon.

People already are being crushed by soaring prices at the pump. We need to be focusing on ways of lessening the burden of higher costs in today’s Biden/Walz economy and this bill would only compound problems. This bill is about the last thing the House should be discussing this session.

Research indicates the CFS proposal would cause the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel to increase by 20 cents per gallon in the near term and up to 54 cents per gallon by 2035. The California mandate would force the average Minnesota household to spend an additional $210 to $570 per year, every single year at the pump. 

These cost increases will harm rural families, single-parent households, and new arrivals to Minnesota the most because they already spend a higher portion of their budgets on energy costs than more affluent households. This bill also would be highly damaging to farmers at a time they already are working against tight margins and rising costs of inputs.

We also should note that none of the additional costs imposed on Minnesota families will pay for upgrading our roads and bridges.

Avian influenza

Cases of highly pathogenetic avian flu have been detected in the upper Midwest and there is concern about an avian flu outbreak similar to the one we experienced in 2015 unfolding. That year, nine million birds in Minnesota were killed by the virus or euthanized to slow its spread.

This is a good time for a reminder that avian influenza does not impact people and poultry remains safe for consumption. The biggest issue we have right now is protecting our flocks. If you have a small flock of birds, make sure you are keeping them sheltered so they have less exposure to wild birds and the spread. This is a crucial step toward to keeping this outbreak under control.

The legislature provided significant resources to help deal with the emergency in 2015 and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) instituted numerous biosecurity measures meant to slow the spread of avian flu if another outbreak came to Minnesota. The hope is these measures leave us in a much better place to mitigate the avian influenza impacts compared with what we endured in 2015.

Here is a link to more information from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health as we track this developing issue:

Have a good weekend and, as always, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.