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

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Legislative Update (March 26, 2018)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Last week was the first committee deadline week at the legislature.  In order to continue going through the legislative process, bills must be approved in the body (House or Senate) that they were introduced in by the first deadline.  This made for a busy week of bills being heard in committees for me and my colleagues.

Also, last Tuesday was National Agriculture Day, which was a great reminder of the many invaluable contributions that farmers and our agriculture community make to the state of Minnesota every day. 

Project Legacy Bill

One of my bills approved in committee last week would provide funding to Project Legacy, a non-profit that has a meaningful impact in our area.  Project Legacy aims to help young adults of color who are homeless, formerly gang-involved, or recently incarcerated, complete their education in order to become contributing members of their communities.  My bill would provide $400,000 for a grant for Project Legacy to continue providing mental health care, medical care, chemical dependency intervention, housing, or mentoring and counseling services, for first generation college students.

This bill has received bipartisan support in the legislature, featuring Olmsted County lawmakers from both parties as co-authors.  Providing young people with the support they need to take the next step in their education and careers is an important issue all legislators can get behind.  I am proud to author this bill to make sure Project Legacy has the tools they need to further their critical work on behalf of our area’s youth.

Milk Bill

Another bill I am working on was introduced in the House last Thursday.  This bill would provide $1 million in funding for Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank to purchase milk to distribute to its food shelves and charitable organizations.  Additionally, the bill would require all of the milk be purchased from dairy producers from Minnesota.  This legislation would make milk available to thousands of children and families in need across the state, while also creating a significant buyer for Minnesota’s hardworking dairy farmers to produce for.

Governor's Supplemental Budget Proposal

Governor Dayton recently released his supplemental budget proposal for the remainder of session.  The Governor’s proposed budget includes increases on DMV fees to provide more funding for fixes to the troubled MNLARS system, as well as other tax increases to finance more government spending.  I believe it would be irresponsible to ask Minnesotans to pay more in taxes and fees when our state has a budget surplus exceeding $300 million. 

Nonetheless, I was pleased to hear his commitment to prioritize improvements in school safety as well as funding for school-linked mental health grants.  I also support his proposal for the badly needed funding to help deputy registrars across the state that have been hurt by MNLARS complications.  I am optimistic for a productive session working with the Governor on these important issues and others to keep the momentum going from last year.


The legislature took meaningful steps forward last week in fixing the broken MNLARS system that many of you have experienced problems with firsthand.  The House and Senate both passed compromised legislation to provide $10 million in emergency funding to address the problems that have plagued the system.  In addition to the funding, this bill also includes strict legislative oversight on the project to ensure the money is being spent properly and progress is being made.  With nearly $100 million in taxpayer money already spent on MNLARS, Minnesotans deserve a working system.  This legislation implements significant reforms to increase accountability and ensure real solutions are the result of the additional funding.

Governor Dayton approved the legislation by signing it into law last week.

Please Contact Me

I would like to encourage you to contact me with any questions or thoughts on any state government issues you may have.  Consistently hearing from constituents on the everyday issues they are facing is essential to representing our communities.  My door is always open, so if you plan on visiting, please contact me to set up a time for us to sit down and chat.  I can be reached at 651-296-4378 or

Have a great weekend.


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