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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Matt Bliss (R)

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Legislative update from Rep. Bliss

Friday, February 05, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

It was nice to see the Minnesota Appeals Court this week deny a request for a stay of construction for the Line 3 pipeline project. This motion for a stay was issued just one day after Enbridge was given the green light to start work in late November. 

This decision once again supports the fact this project has met the rigorous standards placed upon it during an extensive environmental review process. The Obama administration deemed the existing pipeline unsafe and in need of replacement and it is good to see progress is moving along well on the new line. Thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue are coming to our region and, once finished, we will be safer for having a new pipeline. 

While I applaud the court’s decision to turn back the request for a stay on construction, I also expect extremists who oppose this project will continue challenging it. Stay tuned. 

On another subject, concerns are being expressed over a proposal from Gov. Tim Walz to create a SAFE Account which would provide $35 million in funding primarily for the law enforcement presence that will be required during the upcoming Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis. 

As a strong supporter of our law enforcement agencies, I want to make sure they have the resources to provide necessary responses. This proposal, however takes the wrong approach. Three of Minnesota's law enforcement organizations wrote in a letter to the Public Safety committee that “Our members remain concerned ... that no matter what legislation is passed, the response for mutual aid will not be as robust as the public may expect. Our members’ concern is due to the continued demonization of law enforcement officers by certain public officials at various levels of government.” 

The bottom line is we all want to make sure the history of last summer’s Twin Cities riots does not repeat itself, but the funding in this proposal isn’t a cure-all. Mayor Frey has indicated Minneapolis is down 200 police offers from 2019, a drop that would appear in large part linked to questionable decisions the city has made regarding its own police force. This leaves the city ill-equipped to handle issues that may arise and it is unacceptable to shift undue burdens to the rest of Minnesota’s taxpayers. 

Until next time, stay warm.

Sincerely, 

Matt 

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