First, I want to offer my sympathy and prayers to the families and local law enforcement authorities involved in the tragic loss of life that occurred in our community this week. It is important that we as a community support each other through this difficult time.
This week in St. Paul we moved the federal Real ID program forward. The appropriate state agencies are now tasked with reporting back to the legislature no later than April 14 on how best to implement the program. We must balance security requirements with the need to protect private data.
The Department of Homeland Security indicates enforcement of the Real ID standards to board commercial domestic flights will take effect no sooner than January, 2018. Please be aware that the Minnesota Enhanced driver’s license and Enhanced Personal Identification cards both already comply with the Federal Real ID requirements and are available for an additional $15 fee.
Click here for more info on the Minnesota enhanced IDs.
Today marks the first deadline for legislation to have cleared the initial committee hearing process. A variety of bills I am working on, including bonding projects for both the Cuyuna Country Recreation Area and creation of new ATV trail, and the Malmo-Glen Loop on the east side of Mille Lacs, met that first deadline.
Additionally, other bills that I am involved with are also moving forward. MNSure reforms, Mille Lacs Lake-area economic relief, expanding county corrections officer program options, sale of county tax forfeited lands, veteran’s administration and GI Bill matters, reauthorization of the Mineral Coordinating Commission, and updating Minnesota’s aggregate resources plan are just a few of items we are dealing with.
So far we have had a great response on our survey. In case you were puzzled by question No. 5 asking about pipeline safety, “oil and gas online” should read “oil and gas pipelines.” My apology on not catching that misprint.
April 15 is the deadline for participating in the survey, if you have not already done so, please take a few moments to fill out the online version. Just click here for the link. Your input is greatly appreciated.