I hope you’ve had a good summer and are starting to enjoy the fall colors. I spent much of this summer visiting with people in our community and hearing what issues matter the most to them. Also in order to do a more informed job at the legislature, I’ve been touring Minnesota looking at various farming and industrial sites to discuss issues surrounding land and water use. Minnesota has been a pioneer in farming techniques and agricultural stewardship. As large-scale industrial farming has replaced family farms, we’ve seen many changes on the rural landscape over the years. Those changes include both economic and environmental impacts that some argue have made farming while preserving soil and water quality more challenging. Many of the places I’ve visited in rural Minnesota shared these concerns and highlighted efforts being made to mitigate these negative impacts.
Supporting farmers in Minnesota is a bipartisan issue. We often hear how we should support all kinds of agriculture and I agree. Whether Republicans or Democrats controlled agriculture committees, we’ve been united in our goal to make sure farmers in Minnesota thrive. However, just like you can’’ t fit everything you might want to […]
A summary of the new laws which will take effect on August 1st includes an increase in the minimum wage. Beginning this Friday, the hourly minimum wage will be $8.00 for businesses which have gross sales over $500,000. The law provides for further increases to $9.50 by 2016. The is the first time in ten […]
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources requests comments on its possible rules governing reclamation of silica sand mines. The Department is considering rules that would control possible adverse environmental effects of silica sand mining, preserve natural resources, and encourage planning of future land utilization. The rules may address other reclamation issues that come up during […]
Minnesota’s environmental organizations do great work advocating for clean water and air. Some of you may be members of Clean Water Action, Sierra Club – NorthStar chapter, and Conservation Minnesota. They have many fronts they work on and one is legislative. I was fortunate to get a 100% rating from them every year I served […]
If you listened Wed. July 20th you heard my conversation with Dan Dimick, a therapist, who works with a number of vulnerable people in our area and he describes what potential budget cuts mean for those constituents and wonders how we will meet their needs if as a society we don’t see the value in […]
Those of you interested in some coverage of the proceedings of the Special Session might find these comments by Rep. Rick Hansen interesting: It is 3:10 pm and we have convened into special session. 124 members are present. The Majority has moved a recess to the call of the chair. The following bills have been […]
This Wednesday, June 22nd I interview Rep. Rick Hansen of South St. Paul. Rick is in his 4th term and serves on the Agriculture and Rural Development Policy and Finance, Capital Investment, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committees. Rick also served as an important member of the committee that over saw the Legacy funds. […]