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Senator Westrom appointed to energy board

State Senator Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake) was appointed to the NextGen Energy Board by the Minnesota State Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division of Finance Committee.

NextGen Energy was established in 2007 by Governor Pawlenty and the Minnesota Legislature. The intention of the board is to develop bioenergy policies and provide recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature.

The board's duties include researching and advising how Minnesota can effectively use its resources.

The first meeting on January 10 provided updates from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Biofuel Advisory Task Force. The board also learned more about renewable hydrocarbon fuels and their production.

Three committees on which Westrom serves met and reviewed the committee budgets and jurisdictions, the January budget forecast and the status of the state's current budget situation.

This session, legislators' main focus is working on a balanced, responsible budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. An updated state economic forecast will be released in late February or early March.

Senator Westrom can be reached by telephone at (651) 296-3826 or (855) 407-7386, by mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155, or via e-mail at