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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Pam Altendorf (R)

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Rep. Altendorf Legislative Update

Wednesday, October 25, 2023



Happy Fall to everyone across the district.  We have had such beautiful weather that I have thoroughly enjoyed after the dry and hot summer! 


Last week I was invited to watch them take out the corn field for the annual Wabasha Field of Dreams harvest at the Gundersen St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.



Not long ago, a legislative committee heard about a petition that could have severe impacts on the dairy industry and many farmers who specialize in animal agriculture in southeastern Minnesota.


For those who haven’t heard, a number of environmental organizations – including Land Stewardship Project - have petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and asked them to mandate moratoriums on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the area. The reason? These organizations are blaming current farmers for high nitrate levels in the area’s drinking water.


The organizations pushing for EPA involvement are targeting “Big Ag,” and “industrial farming” as the causes of the problems, yet the overwhelming majority of farmers in the area are family farmers who have passed along their land for generations.


Also, not only do the petitioners want the EPA to prohibit the expansion of CAFOs, they also want to prohibit any modifications to their operations. They also ask the EPA to, once it decides who should be blamed for nitrate contamination, require those responsible to supply free, clean drinking water to owners of area private wells, and require CAFOs and other farms using nitrogen fertilizers to change their practices.


There’s a lot at stake for agriculture in this ruling. Which might explain why the Subcommittee on Minnesota Water Policy scheduled a hearing on the topic on October 3, which is right in the middle of harvest season, when farmers aren’t paying attention to legislative activity. Coincidence? I think not.


At the hearing, they had only one pro-ag testifier, who did a good job discussing all the practices farmers have adopted in order to reduce nitrogen. The only “farmer” who was given time to speak was a self-described herb and flower farmer who does not live in southeastern Minnesota, yet supports the EPA petition. No other serious agricultural farmer was given a voice at this hearing.


Much of the environmental petitioner testimony attempted to lean on fear and emotion, referencing the “young mother and her kids” who will be drinking out of their contaminated wells if the EPA doesn’t take over. Plenty of talk centered on alleged “misinformation” that’s out there, which of course means the information they don’t want you to hear and focus on. In this case, making major changes to animal agriculture operations. And of course, no mention at all that the problems of today were likely caused by the farming practices that occurred decades ago.


Farmers have an extremely stressful job. Both my husband and I grew up on farms. We know the time, sweat, and dedication it takes to manage a farm and turn a profit.


Unlike the stigma that radicals like to paint about agriculture, most farmers are excellent stewards of the land. They care deeply and have already made changes with the help of local county soil and water districts, having adopted best management practices to reduce erosion and protect the surface and ground water quality. Farmers today want to pass their farm to the next generation better than they found it, and they do not need more government regulations. Therefore, it makes no sense how they are often painted in a light of not caring or being reckless environmentally. Why would they want to ruin their own land and water?


The legislative hearing on the EPA topic will continue on November 14th at 9:00 a.m. If you wish to testify before the committee, contact Jim Stark, LCC Subcommittee on Water Policy by email at, or call 651-284-6431. Hopefully more farmers will be able to tune in and learn more about what these environmental petitioners are trying to accomplish. Visit if you’d like to watch online.


We all have the same goals, and no one wants pollution or contaminants in water. But we can’t continue to pass unnecessary regulations, breathe down the necks of ag producers, and vilify the very people that are working long hard days, to provide food, fuel, and fiber for all Americans.




Unprecedented COVID lockdowns, associated government-imposed nonsense connected to the pandemic, and my support of medical freedoms are the original reasons I decided to seek office. Click the photo above to view my speech at the Choose Freedom rally at the Capitol. I am joined by Dale Witherington, founder of Restore Minnesota. Learn more about his organization by clicking here.



Did you know that pharmaceutical companies are legally protected and cannot be sued if there are adverse reactions to vaccines? 


Did you also know that for all medical procedures like surgeries, patients are given “informed consent” meaning they need to provide the patient with all information and possible side-effects. However, with vaccines – and pharmaceutical company legal protection from law suits – informed consent does not exist?


I have been passionate about freedom and that includes medical freedoms to choose what is best for us individually, in consultation with our doctors.  During COVID, we underwent great pressure to take a vaccine that was NOT FDA approved and was being pushed out under an “emergency use authorization.” This vaccine technology was never before used on humans and has no long-term studies showing safety or efficacy. We have never seen this kind of pressure before and while we all wanted to do the right thing, those asking questions were scoffed at for simply asking questions. I have never been anti-vax, however, hindsight is always 20-20 and I will continue to advocate for people to have medical freedoms and I will always push back against group-think and the pressure that was put on individuals to take an experimental medical procedure.


Let me introduce you to a new group if you or someone you know has been injured from taking the COVID vaccine. The group in Minnesota is called Team Humanity. Click here to subscribe to its newsletter, or email them for more information:  


Also, click here to visit the React 19 website that supports those injured from the vaccine.



Last week, I joined House and Senate Republican lawmakers in calling on the Democrat majority to take immediate action to resolve the school resource officer (SRO) issue.


Earlier this year, legislative Democrats passed a bill Governor Walz signed into law that many believe could put an officer at risk for legal action if he or she misapplied the new policy.


This new law is ambiguous, lacks clarity, and changes what SROs are allowed to do to de-escalate aggressive or violent situations. She noted it takes away important tools they can use to keep students and teachers safe. In response, roughly 50 law enforcement agencies have had to pull SROs from schools across Minnesota. 


Republicans held a listening session last Wednesday on SROs after Democrats ignored requests for an informational hearing to develop a bipartisan fix. Legislators heard from school staff, law enforcement, and those impacted by violence in schools for the purpose of developing a legislative solution. 


Democrats have been avoiding a legislative fix, hoping a revised opinion on the law from Attorney General Keith Ellison would be sufficient. However, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty released a contradictory interpretation of the law, suggesting that school resource officers could still be charged criminally, proving that a legislative fix is the only way forward.


If two of the higher profile attorneys in our state cannot agree on what this law says, how is that going to ease the fears of law enforcement agencies and SROs? It’s very clear we need to find a bipartisan fix to this problem, but Democrats are unwilling to budge, meaning many schools across Minnesota are not as safe as they should be.


You can help Minnesota by TALKING to others and SHARING conservative messages on your social media! Follow me on Twitter, Youtube, and Rumble.


It’s an honor and privilege to work for you at the Capitol. Don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time this session to share your thoughts, concerns or ideas. I am here to serve you!