Despite the very crisp winter weather, we had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration. We were blessed in 2017 and have lots of exciting things to look forward to as we move into 2018.
We could start with a nice January thaw, followed by three more wins for the Vikings. Shortly after the Super Bowl excitement has abated, we will also begin a new legislative session on Feb. 20.
Last year the Legislature passed the current two-year state budget. In 2018, our focus primarily will be on policy adjustments. Over the next six weeks, I will be reviewing what policy areas we may need to work on during the upcoming session.
I will start that review today in Bloomington at the annual Department of Natural Resources Roundtable gathering. The DNR Roundtable brings together a large group of stakeholders with interest in Minnesota’s fisheries, wildlife, and ecological and water resources.
The DNR staff will provide updates on a wide variety of topics during a full day session and the stakeholders will provide important feedback and perspective on what is working and what areas may need adjustment.
As a legislator, this is a great opportunity to listen to what our DNR has to say about the wide variety of natural resources they manage for the people of Minnesota and what kind of feedback they receive from their customers. Next week I will provide a recap on what I learn.
As I mentioned earlier, the 2018 legislative session begins Feb. 20, which is only six weeks away. Since this is not a budget year, the session is shorter than odd-numbered years. We must adjourn no later than Monday May 21, 2018 in accordance with the state Constitution.
Now is the time for individual citizens and local government officials to contact me on state level matters that may need to be addressed during this legislative session. For good reason, it is a fairly lengthy and complex process to put change state law. Your input is helpful to me in thoroughly exploring ideas before we get into this next legislative session.