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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sandy Layman (R)

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News From Representative Layman 2-15-2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you’re having a great week. Before the weekend gets here, I wanted to send out a quick email update to fill you in on the latest with pipeline news, a daylight savings time update and this week’s Capitol visits.

Line 3 News

On Tuesday, Governor Walz created quite a buzz here at the Capitol when making the decision to proceed with his administration’s efforts to legally challenge the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline. The petition the governor submitted challenges the unanimous decision that was made by the experts at the Public Utilities Commission to grant a certificate of need for the pipeline. This decision continues the state-backed legal challenges to the project and will unfortunately further delay the project, adding costs for Minnesotans.

I was extremely discouraged to learn of the governor’s decision and I joined fellow legislators at a press conference on Tuesday to express my disappointment and reaffirm my support for the project. Pipelines are the safest, most environmentally-sound way to transport oil, and the governor should trust the experts who have signed off on this pipeline and let construction move forward. Earlier this week, the Star Tribune reported that safety officials are concerned by increased oil train traffic coming in from Canada, which is partially due to the uncertainty surrounding this project.

In addition to the safety and environmental upsides of the project, this pipeline represents a tremendous economic impact to northern Minnesotan communities. Let’s hope Governor Walz listens to the feedback he is receiving and changes his policies related to Enbridge.  In the meantime, please know you can always count on me to continue standing with communities and supporting this project.

Pipeline Vandalism Update

Last week, I mentioned the news of four protesters who attempted to close pipeline valves for the Line 3 and Line 4 pipelines that run across northern Minnesota. These protestors have since been charged with felonies for their actions, which were extremely dangerous and threatened the safety of surrounding communities and first responders. Trespassing on private property and attempting to alter critical infrastructure is illegal and poses great dangers, so it was good to see appropriate charges filed against this group.

Daylight Savings Time 

On a lighter note, thanks to all who responded to my question last week regarding your views on eliminating daylight savings time.  All but one respondent would like to avoid changing clocks twice a year but most would rather stay on daylight savings time rather than standard time.  While dropping daylight savings time can be accomplished by state legislative action, keeping daylight savings time requires an act of Congress (good luck, right?).

Research on the topic reveals that Senator Marco Rubio actually introduced a bill last year to make daylight savings time permanent across the country.  There does seem to be some momentum in this direction!  I signed onto a bill today to allow Minnesota to, likewise, stay on daylight savings time should this measure be passed by Congress.  The chief author is Rep. Mike Freiberg who chairs the Committee that would hear this bill in St. Paul.

Local Visitors

It was another good week for welcoming visitors from our area to the Capitol. Thank you to everyone who made the trip down!

Had the opportunity to sit down with constituents from the Association of Farm Mutual Insurance Companies during their day at the Capitol.

Jodi and Dawn from Deer River, and Annaliesa from Grand Rapids, were among the nurses visiting during Minnesota Nurses Association’s Day at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Itasca County Administrator Brett Skyles and Commissioner Ben DeNucci stopped by to discuss Itasca County’s priority issues.

Please Contact Me

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns on any legislative issue. I value our community’s input and would love to hear from you.

Have a great weekend,

 

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