“California” Green Energy First Bill
On Thursday the Climate and Energy Committee heard “idea” bills on how we can move Minnesota inline with the Governor's proposal to be carbon neutral by 2040. These bills all aimed at making Electric Vehicles (EV’s) more accessible in the state. As a first step they are seeking to require Minnesota’s state fleet to purchase more EV’s, eventually moving the entire fleet to Ev’s. These would include school buses, snow plows and even dump trucks. These vehicles are costly to build, and purchase in and of themselves using the traditional “going out of style” combustion engine; according to the bill's supporters. Requiring them to use these massive batteries would cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands each purchase. Not to mention when one breaks the repair costs, and expertise required to maintain them would be immense.
The most concerning part is the blatant ignorance of those supporting the bill to the actual cost of building and maintaining these EV trucks. I am not just talking about the raw materials but the process by which they are mined and shipped to the US as well. In fact, over 80% of electric cars sold globally utilized permanent magnet-based motors in 2019. These magnets are typically made with rare-earth materials such as neodymium and dysprosium, which have a very geographically constrained supply chain. China accounts for the vast majority of rare-earth production worldwide and this has, in the past, led to huge price volatility. In 2011, after China restricted its exports of rare-earths, the price of neodymium and dysprosium rose by approximately 750% and 2000% respectively.
These elements are limited and primarily run by chinese companies operating in third world countries that still use slave labor, and child laborers to work in the dangerous mines. Not only are the materials used in the production of these vehicles unethical but we would be dangerously reliant on volatile Chinese corporations and markets. I brought forward an amendment to an energy bill in committee which simply banned taxpayer money from being used to subsidize products mined using child slavery and all Republicans voted Yes and every Democrat voted No.
If you’ve been wondering when you can receive your COVID-19 vaccination, a new statewide tool is available to help.
The Minnesota Department of Health has created an online ‘Vaccine Connector’ that can provide information about when, where, and how you can get the vaccine – and will also tell you when it’s your turn to receive your shot.
The “Vaccine Connector” is designed for those who are currently ineligible to receive their vaccinations.
Those eligible to get vaccinated right now – people over the age of 65, health care workers, and teachers - do not have to wait for information from the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector before you get your shot. They should contact their health care provider, county health department, or employer for further information.
In addition, residents should not sign up for the “Vaccine Connector” if they have already received the vaccine, previously registered for the COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program or the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program, or completed the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Child Care survey.
For more information visit: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/index.jsp
Update on the Lawsuit against Walz
We are disappointed by many of the statements made in this week’s case. Judge Larkin proposed that Governor Walz should be given the authority to veto the legislature’s decision to terminate his peacetime emergency powers. This would make it impossible to ever end a Governor’s peacetime emergency in the future. The judges also raised questions about whether the plaintiffs had standing as individual legislators rather than the body as a whole, and whether the claim had to wait until after both bodies of the legislature had agreed to end the peacetime emergency.
We have endured one-man rule for too long, which has resulted in innumerable hardships and losses for Minnesotans; however, we remain hopeful that we will see a restoration of freedom for the people of Minnesota. No governor should be able to unilaterally write law for an indefinite period of time. This is a gross abuse of power, and it needs to be corrected by the courts.
You can listen the proceedings in their entirety HERE
Hearing My First Bill
This week my first bill was heard in committee, HF675, which would move Majiuana from a Schedule 1 drug to a schedule 2. This bill is long overdue. When Minnesota first started its Medical Majiuana program we only legalized the oil products to be used. These oils are much more expensive to produce and have resulted in many patients making the tough decision of whether to ration their doses and live with the pain or front more money out of pocket.
Not only has the price been a major issue, but because it is classified as a schedule 1 with “no medical value” patients who use medical majiuana have been forced to give-up their 2nd amendment rights. So long as the drug remains a schedule 1 narcotic it remains highly illegal in the eyes of the federal Government. As such firearm owners have had to make the touch choice between less pain or their constitutional rights.
You may remember last week I conducted an online, ten-question survey. I received responses from over 1,400 individuals. Participants in the survey were 59% female / 41% male, 58% Republican / 42% other party affiliation and spread evenly across all age groups. 97% of respondents support the medical cannabis program and 72% support expanding it to include the plant material to lower costs.
Minnesota is one of 35 States which allow medical cannabis but the only State which does not allow plant material. 15 States, including South Dakota have legalized the personal use of cannabis. Given the change of power in DC, we are likely to see changes to the federal prohibition of cannabis. Whether or not you support expanding cannabis use in Minnesota, I believe it is important to study the impacts and address legislation around future changes. Given the overwhelming support for medical cannabis, I do believe it is important to address these concerns which will allow our veterans easier access to cannabis as an alternative to opiates or other prescription drugs.
Voting is Now Open in our Name a Snowplow Contest
I voted for:
- Darth Blader
- Plowin' in the Wind
- Snobi Wan Kenobi
- The Truck Formerly Known as Plow
- Plowy mcPlowFace
- For Your Ice Only
- F. Salt Fitzgerald
- L'Plow du Nord
Unfortunately, "Rocks and Plows" didn’t make the final list
What are your favorites?
Thank you for being engaged in Government,
State Representative, 23B
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at Grayson.firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the Minnesota House on Public TV
House Streaming Website
Also you can watch committees and Floor Sessions on YouTube.