House File 1 came before the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy Committee this Thursday. As vice-chair of this committee, I was encouraged by the number of citizens and business owners who came to testify in support of this bill. House File 1 focuses on growing better paying jobs with an emphases on Greater Minnesota. This bill serves as a starting point for many of the reforms and initiatives that we are looking to enact to refocus attention back on Greater Minnesota.
I have been extremely pleased with the amount of feedback and ideas that our committee has received over the first three weeks of session as we look to not only help foster the creation of new businesses in Greater Minnesota, but also bring much needed relief to already existing small businesses.
Yesterday was the annual MCCL March for Life on the steps of the Capitol. It is always an honor to meet with supporters who are taking the time out of their busy lives to peacefully protest our nation’s abortion laws. I was happy to stand in unison with those of us who support life and pledge to protect the unborn.
Regulations from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) continue to have a negative impact on Minnesota’s businesses. This week, the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee heard testimony from the MPCA on policy changes made at the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and how it affects businesses and their operating standards here in Minnesota. The MPCA testified that the EPA is considering raising the operating standards here in Minnesota which would negatively impact our businesses. Stay tuned for more updates on how this may affect our state’s small businesses.
Last Friday I attended the DNR Roundtable discussion in the Twin Cities. This is a yearly event where lawmakers, agency specialists, and citizens are able to interact and discuss ways that we can improve our state’s natural resources. Many important topics were discussed at this year’s event. Among the most important was the recent federal ruling that would put a stop to Minnesota’s wolf hunt. This ruling will have a tremendous impact on Minnesota farmers, ranchers, hunters, and property owners. Incidents of wolves encroaching on residential areas are well-documented throughout our state’s northern regions. My colleagues and I are currently looking into action that can be taken that would allow Minnesota’s wolf hunt to continue.
An intriguing development took place during last Friday’s DNR Roundtable event when Governor Mark Dayton proposed a 50 foot buffer (grass or similar) be placed around all state waters. His proposal included such comments as, “The land may be yours. But the water belongs to all of us, and to all who will follow all of us.” He suggested that the DNR would enforce this proposal by conducting aerial surveillance of shorelines throughout the state. This announcement came as a surprise to many and it poses many questions. How would this proposal impact farmers and private land owners? Who would pay for these buffer zones? Do we want the DNR overriding local governance boards? Please let me know your thoughts on this proposal. You can read more about the proposal by clicking here.
I always welcome the opportunity to meet with constituents. Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend some events that took place in our District. On Friday, I attended an event with the Becker County Taxpayer’s Association and on Saturday I participated in a March for Life rally in Park Rapids.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have a question or comment regarding a piece of legislation or a state agency. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at rep. email@example.com.