Missed my regular end of week up date last week. Spent a bit of time with my Dad in the hospital this weekend. He had a setback with a long term battle with leukemia, but is gaining back his strength. Our family greatly appreciates the prayers and kind words on my Dad’s behalf.
Last week was busy with floor sessions. We passed two major bills last week, one of which I authored. H.F. 3280 would put the focus back on protection, enhancement and where appropriate restoration of wild rice after an eight-year unsuccessful effort by MPCA to replace a 45 year old sulfate standard that has never been enforced.
The measure passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 79-45 and was passed 38-28 by the Senate this afternoon. The bill reiterates previous guidance to MCPA on developing a workable sulfate standard, refraining from adding new conditions relative to sulfate into existing permits and retirement of the outdated standard.
The MCPA proposed replacement standard has been in the works for several years in rule making and has twice been rejected as unworkable by Administrative Law Judges that oversee the rule making process. MPCA has officially withdrawn the problematic proposal from further consideration that now clears the way to start fresh on rule making.
Even more important than what MPCA does my bill brings the DNR back into the development of a more comprehensive approach to protecting wild rice.
We also passed a supplemental education bill that included significant funding support and policy changes that allows for improving the safety aspects of our school facilities across Minnesota and continuing to address recognizing and securing appropriate mental health services for children that need that assistance.
It was a busy week last week and the pace will pick up this week, expect more updates as we deal with tax reconciliation bill and other important issues this week.