This week I was re-appointed to the Legislative Permanent School Trust Commission and received a new appointment to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. I specifically requested these assignments. In addition to my work on the House Agriculture and Environmental and Natural Resources committees, our region is rich in natural resources. How we manage these resources is critical to ensuring we create opportunity for our citizens here in north-central Minnesota.
Last week I discussed Gov. Walz’s plan to impose California car emission standards on Minnesota through the rule making process. I am co-author on a bill (H.F. 395) that would force MPCA to get legislative approval before attempting to impose these unwarranted and costly regulations on Minnesotans.
I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations on the success of this legislation. The executive branch has the power of the veto pen. It is expected the governor will vigorously oppose any effort to curtain his unilateral power in this area.
That makes the upcoming administrative law proceedings extremely important. This process provides for public input on the record by citizens on this matter. Whether you support or oppose the effort to impose CA auto emissions standards on Minnesota, please plan to submit your comments via the Office of Administrative Hearings website or via a virtual public hearing.
The public hearings are expected to take place virtually on Feb. 22 and 23 at 3 p.m. Unlike calling or emailing the governor’s office – which often gets little or no response – the administrative law judge is required to review every bit of testimony and take that into consideration in making a recommendation on if this new rule should be adopted.
The governor submitted his state budget proposal this week. At $52.4 billion it represents about a 9.5 percent increase above the current state operating budget. It proposes about $1.7 billion in new tax increases. Despite the claim that the tax increases will only impact the rich in our society, about $941 million of the tax increases are very regressive and will impact all income levels in Minnesota.
Please be assured I am scrubbing this proposal with a wire brush. We need to help our economy return to normal, jamming on tax increases will not help main street get back to normal. Please have a safe weekend.