Hello from St. Paul!
It's amazing to me that a month has already gone by in session. There is quite a bit going on. I will try to update you some of the issues important to West-Central Minnesota, but if you have any questions, please contact me anytime: 651-296-4228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week Senator Lang did a great job defending the Montevideo Veterans Home from another Senator trying to take the money away from the project and putting it into a Minneapolis project. This year I am on the Veterans Affairs Committee and I can tell you with certainty there is no chance this will happen. I have personally spoke to both the Chair of the Committee, Rep. Ecklund as well as the Government Relations Director for MDVA, Ben Johnson. The project is moving forward smoothly. I was told this week by Chippewa County Commissioners that the federal application is ready to go for the April deadline. We are highly confident this project will be moving forward.
Speaking of County Commissioners, I was blessed to have almost all of the Commissioners from my four counties come to St. Paul and visit with me this week. We had a good discussion on issues important to our counties including broadband access, local roads and bridges, health services, and much more. We all have a great group of people leading our counties. On the subject of visits, I encourage anyone who would like to come out here to visit or to discuss an issue important to them, to contact my office and set up a time. If you want to meet in district, let me know that as well. I am always happy to meet to discuss your thoughts and concerns.
This week our new Governor Tim Walz announced yet another delay in moving forward with the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline up north. This is very important to all Minnesotans as this badly needed improvement on a pipeline will ensure safe transport of crude oil. There is an aging infrastructure and the only alternative is rail, which increases the risk of disaster. I'm highly concerned that one of the first official acts of our new Governor is to go back on his promise to move this project forward. The current permitting process has already taken too many years and has a permit of thousands of pages. It's all unnecessary and it's hurting the people of Minnesota. You can read more about this in this article in Bloomberg.
I have officially introduced once again my bills which will allow the Department of Corrections to either purchase or lease to own the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. I am on the Public Safety Committee and I am keeping a close eye of the actions of the Department of Corrections. They are saying right now they have no need for more prison space. I will take their word for it, however, I will also be vigilant should they change their direction this session. Some people have been asking me about tax conformity. Former Governor Dayton vetoed our tax conformity bill last year that would have simplified tax preparations for Minnesotans and provided much needed tax relief to over 300,000 households. We have been attempting to re-address this issue this year. So far the Democrat Majority in the House has said they are not interested. Stay tuned. That's probably enough for this week. There is much more to tell you. I will be sure to keep you updated in the future. God bless and have a great weekend!
Representative Tim Miller
House District 17A 415
State Office Building 100
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Saint Paul, MN 55155