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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL)

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Legislative Update - October 18, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Rep. Brand

Dear Neighbors,

As we begin to gear up for the 2020 Legislative session, my colleagues and I are hard at work using this time in our communities to work on the new proposals we’ll bring back to the State Capitol in February.  It's a time to discuss priorities with local units of government and to be mindful of how legislation impacts pocketbooks and community sustainability.

 

Bonding Tour

One of the ways we’re utilizing the interim is through state-wide bonding tours, and recently the House Capital Investment Committee came to our neck of the woods. The purpose of these tours is to personally visit sites and projects that are candidates for state funding, which would potentially be included in what is called a “bonding bill” next year.

Brand 1

 

Brand 2

In our community, I joined my colleagues in visiting proposed funding sites that would invest in local parks, water treatment, MSOP, and the Minnesota State University, Mankato. These are all worthy projects, but I was especially interested in how investments at the university will be put toward solving the child care shortage faced by our region. This was a very informative tour, and I look forward to continuing to advocate for these projects in St. Paul.

 

Farmer Safety

It’s been two months since Landon Gran tragically lost his life in a farming accident, but the loss remains fresh in my mind. As Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, I remain committed to crafting legislation that not only bolsters our agricultural economy, but keeps our farmers safe.

It’s through this tragedy that I share in the Gran family's hope that we can find ways to make some of the more dangerous aspects of farming safer. In Minnesota alone, four people have died this year in grain bins or other agricultural confined spaces. It’s time to look towards a policy solution to these tragedies, and I thank Landon’s family for their grace and courage in starting this conversation.

 

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease was a topic of legislation this year at the State Capitol, with the Legislature investing in research, enforcement, and accountability.  As deer hunting season gets underway this year, I wanted to share some resources and updated information. I recently attended a Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA) meeting at the Nicollet Conservation Club - spending over an hour just on the topic of CWD. Hunting brings over $1 billion into our state economy - not to mention that hunting is part of our Minnesota legacy. 

Note that some areas of the state will have mandatory CWD testing this year, mainly in southeast and north central Minnesota, though you can always check deer outside of these zones yourself. For more information on CWD testing and this year’s deer hunting season, please check out the Minnesota DNR website

On Tuesday, October 29, the Legislature will be holding a joint hearing of to provide an update on CWD, and you’ll be able to watch at live at 10am online.  

 

Be Heard on Cannabis - Saint Peter

We’re inviting Minnesotans to join the conversation about how we will safely and responsibly create a comprehensive framework for the most thoughtful adult-use cannabis laws in the country. 

Legalizing cannabis for responsible adult use will expand access and affordability for people who rely on it to treat PTSD or chronic pain, allow law enforcement to focus their resources on more dangerous crimes, and expand personal freedom for Minnesotans, including the thousands of minor offenders who have been swept up in our criminal justice system.

St Peter Cannabis

We want to hear what Minnesotans think, which is why we launched statewide Community Conversations on Cannabis to hear from people in every corner of our state, including Saint Peter. You can sign up for updates, take the Speaker’s cannabis survey, and find other community conversations at a new website here.

 

Keep In Touch
The Minnesota Legislature is currently adjourned until February 2020, meaning until then I’ll be in the district working with folks to find solutions to the issues facing our community and our state. Please feel free to contact me at (651) 296-8634, or at rep.jeff.brand@house.mn if you ever need anything. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your partner in Saint Paul,

Jeff Brand
State Representative, District 19A

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