First, I’d like to say a big congratulations to the Grand Rapids boy’s hockey team for topping Duluth East last night to advance to the State Tourney! Great job, guys, we’re so proud of you, and can’t wait to watch you go for the title in St. Paul.
This week, my bill to reform the IRRRB was heard in its first committee stop. We had a very productive hearing, with members for both parties agreeing this would be good legislation for the Iron Range. I’m continuing my effort to take all viewpoints from the Range and put them into this bill so we can have something legislators agree on, and want Governor Dayton to sign into law. I currently have both Democrats and Republicans signed on as co-authors; this bipartisanship should help move the bill towards passage.
I also had a hearing for a bill that strengthens the Sustainable Forest Incentive Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide DNR oversight and create a tiered system of payments to private forest land owners who are making long-term investments in forest management. I’ll keep you updated as this bill continues through the committee process and hopefully becomes law.
Sunday Liquor Sales Allowed in Minnesota
Weeks ago, I asked for your thoughts about repealing Minnesota’s ban on Sunday liquor sales. I received a mixed response; local small business owners were generally opposed while average consumers were in favor of the repeal. Ultimately, I voted against the repeal in support of local small business owners who viewed this measure as a competitive disadvantage with big box retailers. In our floor session last night, the House voted to adopt the Senate language on repealing the law and the bill is now at the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.
On Tuesday, we received news that the state is forecasted to see its current surplus rise to $1.65 billion. With an increased surplus, we can look for more ways to provide tax relief for Minnesotans who have been paying too much in their taxes. In the coming weeks, we’ll be working to create a responsible state budget that prioritizes middle class tax relief, sustainable education funding, and increased quality of care for Minnesota seniors. With the release of the forecast, we can now start to craft the state budget, and I hope to hear from you as we’re working through that process.
Visitors from Home
Grand Rapids Dentists Dr. Mike Miskovich and Dr. Lee Jess stopped by this week during meetings of the Minnesota Dental Association. Over 100 dentists from all over the state were in St. Paul to discuss issues important to the field of dentistry. It was fun to catch up with these two dedicated professionals.
Please Contact Me
Thanks to everyone who visited this week; it was great to see you! If you’re not planning to come to St. Paul, I’d encourage you to call or email my office to share your opinion.
Enjoy your warm weekend,