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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nels Pierson (R)

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Legislative Update (April 1, 2016)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

We're already almost four weeks through the legislative session, and it’s flying by. So far, I’m pleased with the progress we’re making, and look forward to the final push as dominoes fall into place. If you’d like to share your thoughts on any issue at the Capitol, please contact me.


This week, the House passed a bill to start Minnesota down a path toward REAL ID compliance. The legislation allows the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to research and plan for REAL ID implementation. This should ease concerns about flying on commercial airplanes or entering certain federal facilities with our current ID cards.

Because our area is home to the Rochester International Airport, it’s important to ensure residents can board airplanes free of worry about their identification cards’ legitimacy. If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that there’s no reason to worry about boarding an airplane. We’re working with the state to ensure your travel plans don’t get disrupted after the 2018 deadline.

Rochester Airport Bill

Last week, I testified with officials from Rochester in favor of a bill to upgrade the Rochester International Airport. The US Department of Homeland Security informed our local airport that, in order to meet federal requirements, improvements must be made to the customs facilities. If the airport doesn’t make the necessary adjustments, it could lose its status as an international airport. With people traveling from around the world to visit the Mayo Clinic, we simply can’t risk becoming a municipal airport.

My bill would allocate $5 million from the state of the total $10 million the project will cost. The rest of the funds would be raised from other sources. Our area has tremendous value for our state, and I know other legislators can see how important this funding is for Rochester. This isn’t about political parties or differing ideologies; it’s about doing what’s best for Minnesota. 

Me testifying with RST Airport Executive Director, John Reed, and Rochester Mayor, Ardell Brede.

Aging Care Legislation

Lots of the focus of this legislative session revolves around road and bridge funding and providing tax relief. While these bills await action in their respective conference committees, I continue pushing to assist our senior citizen population in Minnesota.

Next year, 60,000 Minnesotans will turn 65, and by 2020 we’ll have more seniors in our state than K-12 students. There’s no question we’re facing an aging population who need improvements to health care, housing, transportation, and career help.

One of my bills, HF3036, was heard in the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee this week. The legislation establishes a Division of Healthy Aging within the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and requires a report to the Legislature by January 2017. This provides MDH the resources to find more ways to help our increasing aging population.

Our aging population is growing, and our laws have to stay in front of this wave. It’s time to act now and assist our senior citizens.

Please Contact Me

If you’ll be in Saint Paul, schedule a time to meet with me in my office by calling 651-296-8137, or email me directly at I’d love to hear from you!