Last week, The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by the Minnesota Department of Commerce that was seeking to force the Minnesota Public Utilities (PUC) to reconsider their unanimous decision to grant a certificate of need for the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline.
In their order, the Court said that the Department of Commerce had filed their original appeal too early, thus causing the dismissal. They went on to say that Governor Walz had until February 12th to decide whether he wanted to refile the appeal or let the project proceed.
The new pipeline will help transfer oil more effectively and safely than the old, decaying line—greatly reducing the number of oil trains that will have to travel through towns across Minnesota.
On Tuesday, Governor Walz announced that he would indeed refile the appeal—once again delaying the project.
This is incredibly disappointing as this replacement pipeline is desperately needed. The pipeline project will bring jobs for Minnesota workers, property tax revenue for Minnesota communities and schools, and enhanced environmental protections.
Minnesotans are sick and tired of political delays. It’s time to get this done.
On Thursday, the non-partisan Legislative Auditor released a report detailing the numerous problems and missteps that were taken during the buildout of the MNLARS system. I am hopeful that the legislature can move forward and get the problems facing this system addressed during this year’s session.
Ultimately, Minnesotans deserve a licensing system that works and I hope that any funding to fix this boondoggle also includes relief for our deputy registrars who have suffered significant financial losses and countless headaches because of the failures of MNLARS.
Finally, I was encouraged to see legislation heard before the Taxes Committee this week that would lower social security taxes in Minnesota. This has been something that I have advocated for since I came to the legislature in 2015 and am hopeful that we can get something done this year to reduce state taxes on social security as we are one of only a handful of states that tax these benefits at such a high rate.
That’s all for this week’s update. Please be sure to contact me to share any questions or concerns you may have about anything related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to speak with you!
Have a great weekend,