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April 8th, 2022 Legislative Update

Friday, April 8, 2022

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM

REP. CAL BAHR - DISTRICT 31B

Friday, April 8th, 2022 –

Minnesota is experiencing an outbreak of the Avian Flu. It does not affect humans or pose a risk to you in eggs or poultry products. However, unlike the 2015 outbreak, this one has spread to backyard flocks. Please pay attention to the health of your flock at home.

Infections are now present in the southern and central Minnesota counties and spreading fast. Yesterday, in the MN House, I voted to provide $1 million in emergency funding to the MN Board of Animal Health to mobilize State resources to assist farmers with disease mitigation and minimize disruption to our food supply. We have a fantastic team of very experienced professionals who have experience from the 2015 outbreak. 

The State has also established a hotline for all your Avian Influenza concerns or questions. 

Please call 1-833-454-0156 to report any sick or dead birds in your flock.

Press 1 to report a sick domestic bird.

Press 2 to report a sick or dead wild bird.

Press 3 for biosecurity and general poultry management questions.

Press 4 for permitting and control areas.

Press 5 for all other inquiries.

Transportation Omnibus Bill

The Minnesota House of Representatives will go on Easter break at the end of today. Before the break is the deadline, bills must be heard in both chambers to be considered “live.” These are the bills that can ultimately become law this session. Over the past few years, we have seen a drastic increase and consolidation of bills into what are called omnibus bills. Thes multi-subject bills are in direct violation of our state's constitution. Even so, the DFL-controlled House now has some of these omnibus bills taking shape and moving to the floor. 

Yesterday the Transportation omnibus bill passed out of committee along a partisan line vote. The bill provides record funding for transportation; $51 Million this Fiscal year and $17 million in FY 24’-25’. However, this money isn’t earmarked for road repairs or bridges; it's dedicated to propping up failed 19th-century technology. 

The money is to go to the new Northern Lights rail line between St. Paul and Duluth. Since the pandemic, ridership has plummeted by 95% on Northstar, and more riders share safety concerns. Yet instead of addressing these issues, the DFL wants to spend more money on a public project no one will use. 

We learned from the boondoggle of the Southwest Light rail and Northstar projects that these projects always cost more than expected. So instead of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a rail line that no one will use because they don’t feel safe, we should be looking to fix major road projects like the new 1-35W project. 

Election Reform In Minnesota 

In the State Government Finance Committee yesterday,  Rep. Steve Drazkowski offered an election integrity amendment based on my bill HF4767 to the committee omnibus bill. It called for absentee ballots to be fully reconciled, by the process described in state law before the election results are certified. This amendment would have changed that by making it clear, no certification before all ballots are reconciled. But unfortunately, the amendment failed 5-8, along party lines, Republicans voting yes, Democrats voting no. 

Choose Freedom, 

Cal Bahr

State Representative, 31B

Contact:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or me. If you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at Grayson.mcnew@house.mn.

Watch the Minnesota House on Public TV

Video: Streaming Website. Also, you can watch committees and Floor Sessions on YouTube.