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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 18, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Dear neighbors,

With just a few days remaining in the legislative session, I’m working hard with my colleagues to finish the state budget on time. I’m hopeful that we can reach a consensus that works for our community and strengthens the entire state.

Members of the House and the Senate are currently meeting in conference committees to resolve differences between the budgets that each chamber approved. Five members from the House and five from the Senate serve on each of the ten conference committees. It’s their job to compromise and put forth a final proposal for that area of the budget. I serve on the Environment and Natural Resources Conference Committee, and I’m following the others closely.

Environment and Natural Resources

We took a step forward in the Environment and Natural Resources Conference Committee recently. The other members and I agreed to accept a number of policies, some that originated in the House and others from the Senate bill. These policies include assistance for hunters with disabilities, a prohibition on trading parts of endangered animals, and clarifying the duties of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. I worked with my colleagues on a measure that will streamline planning for improving water quality in Minnesota, saving the state $175,000 a year. You can read more about these provisions and others that were agreed upon in a recent article from Session Daily. I’m hopeful that we’ll accomplish more soon.

E-12 Education

I talked about the House E-12 education budget in my April 25 legislative update, and it remains one of my top priorities. Our budget would help our local schools support students inside and outside the classroom by increasing per-pupil funding. It also provides more funding for special education services, mental health resources, support staff, and post-secondary opportunities.

As a result, funding for schools in White Bear Lake would increase by $767 per student in the next two years. The North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale, Mahtomedi, and Roseville school districts would also receive hundreds of dollars more to invest in each student.

Comparing the House and Senate budgets is the first step for most conference committees. Our plan provides more resources for students than the Senate counterpart. Here’s how much funding schools in our community would receive under each:

School District

House Budget 2020

Senate Budget 2020

House Budget 2021

Senate Budget 2021






North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale










White Bear Lake





I hope that the Senate will recognize the importance of these investments and work with us to support our students. If you’d like to learn more about the differences between the two budgets, you can read a Star Tribune article about it here.

Good News for White Bear Lake

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that White Bear Lake has reached its highest water level in 16 years. Since 2003, when the lake reached its lowest recorded level, it’s risen more than six feet. I’m happy to see White Bear Lake thriving once again, and I’ll continue to work on restoring its health and protecting Minnesota waters.                                

Progress tends to happen very quickly during the final days of the legislative session. Please stay tuned and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or feedback.


Peter Fischer
State Representative