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

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Legislative Update (March 15, 2019)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today is the first committee deadline at the legislature. For policy bills to continue moving towards the floor for a vote, either the House or Senate needs to have had a hearing on the bill by today. This made for a busy week and some late nights at the Capitol.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with advocates during Disability Services Day to discuss the critical issues surrounding home and community-based services for people living with disabilities.

Relief for Farmers

As I mentioned last week, the heavy snowfall we’ve received in southeastern Minnesota has caused the collapse of numerous barns and farm buildings in recent weeks. As a result of these hardships, many dairy farmers have endured enormous losses, with some being forced to sell their livestock. Yesterday afternoon the legislature approved a bill to make disaster recovery loans available to farmers whose barns have recently collapsed. The legislation authorizes the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority to issue no-interest Disaster Recovery Loans to farmers whose property sustained damage retroactively to Jan. 1, 2019.

Combined with the other challenges farmers currently face, these losses take a toll. I felt it was critical that we provide aid and make these loans available to farmers in order to help them recover and get back on their feet. I was proud to support this bill and I look forward to the relief it will provide farmers who are struggling in the wake of these hardships

Flood Relief

Given the massive amounts of snow we’ve received this winter, we're anticipating some serious and dangerous flooding when the snow eventually melts. I’m coauthoring legislation to replenish needed funding for our state's disaster assistance contingency account, which currently sits empty and lacks the financial resources to effectively respond to these floods. The bill would transfer $20 million in 2019 and another $20 million in 2020 to the account, effective the day after final enactment. The account is now in the red after Minnesota responded with $11 million in relief to flooding events last year in Brainerd and Duluth. We spent $11 million a year ago when we didn’t have a record snowfall waiting to melt. This is why it is absolutely crucial that we take care of the funding now to ensure impacted cities can immediately respond when waters begin to rise.

Please Contact Me

Please feel free to contact me to share your thoughts on the issues that will be coming before me in the weeks and months ahead. You can best reach me via phone at (651) 296-4378 or via email at rep.nels.pierson@house.mn.

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,

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Nels

 

 

 

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