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An eventful week at the Capitol

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By State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen,

District 8

Alexandria, MN

The legislative week ending on March 14 was very eventful at your state Capitol. Many constituent visits and committee meetings took place.

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Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee

This week in committee, we heard numerous bills that will be considered for our bi-annual bonding proposal. Everything from regional event centers to local parks and trails are going to be considered for the bonding request.

One of my proposals, SF1760, was heard and calls for funds to be appropriated for the new Parkers Prairie swimming pool. The pool presents a regional benefit and was very well received by the committee. Joining me at hearing were Jim Arvidson and Sheryl Myers as testifiers and Judy Klein, Tom Myers, Gene Payne, and Rod Helling in attendance for support.

I am optimistic that the bill will be included in the final bonding bill.

Finance

As part of the finance committee, I heard a bill that would increase the state’s general reserve fund. This legislation is somewhat controversial. The DFL would like to take the state’s surplus and turn it into more money in the government’s pockets; whereas Republicans are calling for tax cuts and getting that surplus money back to the people. This shows a clear difference in priorities between the two parties.

You paid for that surplus with the over taxation of last year’s session; you should get it back.

Hot Button Issues

This week some of the more controversial bills made moves.

The “Bullying Bill,” HF826, passed out of the Education Committee after not following the standard senate protocol of allowing three days of notice to the public. While the DFL Majority assured us this won’t be a regular occurrence, this is disheartening. Especially when you the public, demand that we cooperate in the Legislature. The public suffers when this happens.

The wolf hunt, which I co-authored, and was signed into law by Governor Dayton, is under fire again. This year, a bill presented by St. Paul DFL Senator Foung Hawj, which aims to stop the hunt, was heard in the Environmental Policy Committee. After much discussion, including with the DNR, who support the current wolf hunt, the committee failed to pass the bill. After Metro leaders had some time to get their ducks in a row, they recalled the members and passed the bill.

The DFL-led “Medical Marijuana” bill was pulled from committee in the House this week after the author of the bill, Rep. Carly Melin, heard law enforcement’s opposition.

I stand in strong opposition of legalizing any form of raw marijuana.

Thanks for taking the time to read my update. Feel free to reply with comments and concerns. Feel free to contact my office at any time. I am available at (651) 297-8063 or at Sen.Bill.Ingebrigtsen@senate.mn. If you haven’t taken my legislative survey yet, please do so at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MBT5V8N

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