Busy week, this past Sunday I participated in one March for Life event at Aitkin and then attended another one Tuesday here at the capital. Despite the cold weather there was an impressive turnout at both Aitkin and St. Paul.
I have introduced a bill H.F. 0081 which is designed to provide relief for our local charitable gambling organizations. Our Lions Clubs, Snowmobile & ATV clubs, Legion and VFW clubs and many other local groups conduct charitable gambling activities to raise funds that are put right back into the local community for good causes.
Minnesota takes a large portion of those proceeds through an onerous charitable gambling tax. Charitable gambling tax revenues are part of a complicated formula to collect the funds necessary to make the annual bond payments on the Viking Stadium. My proposal would cut the gambling tax rates in half.
Rural Minnesota have always helped share the burden on major projects like the Vikings stadium. However, the current charitable gambling tax is siphoning off more local revenue than is needed to meet the bond requirements. My bill is one of several bills in play from both sides of the aisle that are working to resolve this issue.
This week I met with a wonderful group of school children from the Catholic Home School Academy at Crosby when they toured the capital this week. We had a good visit in Capital Rotunda at the conclusion of their tour. The trip was part of their civics and government studies.
On Wednesday newly appointed Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop visited my office. I provided her with an overview of the many issues we face in the district. I was pleased to discover she is no stranger to our area, as her family has a place on one of our many wonderful lakes in Aitkin County.
Commissioner Bishop has significant private sector and government experience. Most recently, she served as Chief Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Officer at Best Buy Inc. She also has served in senior positions with Governor Ventura’s Administration, the U.S. Department of Education, and US State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland.
Please stay warm, spring is just around the corner!