Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Happy Independence Day! Tomorrow is a perfect opportunity to celebrate this amazing country we live in, and the freedoms it provides. Have fun, celebrate the day, and be safe!
Enbridge Line 3
Late last week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously voted to approve the certificate of need for the Line 3 replacement pipeline. This is great news for Minnesotans! We know this is the safest way to transport oil, will provide good-paying jobs for our residents, and will provide property tax revenue for our local governments.
After all the delays and continued stalling, it’s gratifying to see this process move one step closer. This significant private investment can have a big, positive impact on our area and the state.
PolyMet Land Exchange
Also last week, PolyMet Mining and the U.S. Forest Service exchanged titles to federal and private lands – an exchange that is key to the development of the state’s first copper-nickel precious metal mine. This was welcomed news as the transfer of approximately 6,500 acres of federal lands to PolyMet comes 17 months after the Superior National Forest authorized the exchange, determining it was in the best public interest.
Chippewa Capital Partners
As a member of the Iron Range Delegation, I have also been kept apprised of the progress Chippewa Capital Partners is making toward meeting all the requirements for release of the state-owned mineral leases required for completion of the former Essar Steel Minnesota pellet plant in Nashwauk. The DNR is now in the process of reviewing all the documentation that has been received so that a decision can be made within the next week or so.
DJJ Bill Officially Becomes Law
There was more good news this past weekend as my bill relating to the Douglas J. Johnson (DJJ) economic protection trust fund officially took effect on July 1. The legislation, HF3763, ensures money in the fund is only used for the benefit of the Taconite Assistance Area and shall not be expended, appropriated, or transferred from the fund for any other purpose.
I’m pleased to have passed this bill with Senator Justin Eichorn as Senate author and the support of our colleagues in both the House and the Senate, and to see it officially become law in our state on July 1. This is an important change to ensure DJJ funds are used for their intended purpose within the Taconite Assistance Area.
It’s good to be back home and seeing many of you as Senator Eichorn and I have been traveling to various city council meetings in the district. It’s helpful for us to hear about what’s happening in our most local level of government, and bring these insights back to the state legislature. I hope to visit local townships as well and welcome the opportunity to speak to area civic groups.
This month, I’m planning to join the Grand Rapids Kiwanis, Deer River Lions, Minnesota Rural Electric Association members at their meetings and participate in a veterans town hall. I look forward to seeing some of you there! Feel free to bring questions and ideas.
Please Contact Me
Although we’re finished with the legislative session, I hope you’ll still call or email my office if you wish to talk. I look forward to hearing from you.
Again, have a great 4th of July, and be sure to get out and take part in all the fun, family-friendly activities our area has to offer!