We put some miles on this week, two meetings involving the Garrison, Kathio, West Mille Lacs Lake Sanitary District, a day in Saint Paul for a Permanent School Fund Commission meeting, a Mille Lacs Lake Fishery Advisory Committee meeting at Isle and was able to also join Senator Ruud for visits at Cross Lake and Emily.
If you’re the outdoor type, including hunters, ATV, snowmobile, fishing, and other outdoor enthusiasts please consider attending town hall meetings in Merrifield and Aitkin on Friday, Feb. 5 to discuss management of the state's deer herd and a wide variety of other areas of interest to outdoor enthusiasts.
Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, and Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, and myself will be in attendance. Rep. Hackbarth chairs the House Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee, and I serve as committee vice-chair.
The first meeting will be 1 p.m. at Merrifield Marathons Snowmobile Club (21135 County Road 3, Merrifield) followed by a 6 p.m. session at the Aitkin Public Library Conference Center (110 First Ave. N.E., Aitkin).
This month, reform of the state’s nursing home funding process took effect. That historic legislation for the first time in many years increased funding for nursing homes, particularly in Greater Minnesota. That will allow our area nursing homes to invest more in their people, properly compensating them for the very hard work they do caring for our elderly.
After some high-level discussions, late yesterday Governor Dayton directed the Minnesota DNR to get back on track with implementing the buffer law we passed in 2015.
DNR staff had embarked on attempting to map all private property ditches. That was not part of the agreement or intent of the legislation. The legislation called for mapping of designated public ditches. In most cases that simply involved the DNR coordinating with existing public ditch authorities and water shed districts to incorporate and as necessary update already existing public ditch system maps.
I am pleased to see that Governor Dayton has insisted that the DNR follow the intent of that legislation. It is not appropriate for a state agency to decide to do anything other than what was agreed to. The goal remains to protect the environment and improve water quality, but let’s all stick to the plan.