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Legislative Update - April 24, 2015
It's been a very busy week at the Capitol. We have spent many late nights on the House Floor examining omnibus finance bills. Tonight, the House will be taking up the Environment and State Government omnibus bills. Tomorrow, we will discuss the E-12 Education bill. I would encourage you to watch some of the debate on the House floor, as these are all critical pieces of legislation that could impact all Minnesotans. You can watch here
This week, House Republicans passed their transportation bill. I voted against this legislation because it does not fund investments in transportation or infrastructure in a long term or stable manner
. Instead of finding a sustainable way to pay for transportation, the bill shifts money around with smoke-and-mirror budget tactics that threaten to severely underfund desperately needed infrastructure improvements. For example, the bill shifts money out of port facilities, which would be a terrible blow to Minnesota's shipping industry, and the rest of Minnesota's economy. The legislation also does not deal with the problem of oil train safety improvements
. Oil trains run through many districts in Minnesota, including ours
, and new safety standards are badly needed to make sure that we don’t have an oil train explode in our state, which has been happening across the country in recent months. It is critical for us to pass a serious, long term transportation bill to adequately fund our state's infrastructure, not budgetary tricks that underfund our state's infrastructure.
This week, the House Majority's Jobs and Energy bill was also passed. The bill eliminates Minnesota's Conservation Improvement Program, which reduces carbon emissions and promotes renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. Eliminating our state's commitment to alternative energy isn't just bad for our environment, it's bad for Minnesota jobs
. Instead of wind and solar jobs right here in Minnesota, the GOP plan would outsource energy jobs to Canada, and we would pay for Canadian hydroelectricity. The bill also would repeal the moratorium on nuclear power plants in our state. The bill also entails a cut to funding for broadband services in our state, which are much needed in Greater Minnesota. The jobs bill also cuts funding for our state's trade offices, which help to promote Minnesotan businesses abroad. I voted against the bill for these reasons and many more.
I hope you'll take a moment to fill out my legislative survey. Your input is invaluable as I work to represent Eagan and Burnsville at the Capitol. I encourage you to contact me any time with your questions, comments and concerns. You can take the survey here
Please contact me anytime during the legislative session with your input. I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-3533 or by email at email@example.com