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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, April 5, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings from the House where, since yesterday was the Twins’ home opener, we’ll say this legislative session has reached the seventh-inning stretch.

The Legislature is set to adjourn May 20 and more of our time the rest of the way will be spent in the House chamber voting on bills as committees wrap up the bulk of their work. Here is the latest from St. Paul:

More spending

Less than one year ago, Democrats in full control of the Capitol spent the $18 billion surplus and raised taxes by $10 billion to increase state spending by 40 percent.

Now, the House and Senate majorities and the governor have announced they have reached an agreement to spend at least $512.5 million more in 2024-25 – even with a shortfall projected for the next biennium.

This additional spending is irresponsible and unaffordable. We should be doing the opposite by addressing our potential deficit and heeding warnings from state officials to be cautious when budgeting.

Greater MN ambulance funding

Despite half a billion dollars in new state spending, the new proposal fails to fully fund the critical needs of our emergency medical services across the state, providing $16 million for rural Emergency Medical Services – far short of the actual need. Ambulance providers are struggling under the current “fee-for-service” model, which has left rural areas of the state with decreasing access to ambulances and other EMS options.

I will continue working with fellow legislators to advocate for passage of House File 3992 this session to provide more aid to licensed ambulance service providers in Greater Minnesota. The bill establishes an aid program for licensed ambulance service providers, administered by the commissioner of revenue and makes a one-time appropriation of $122.5 million for this core service.

Habitat grants

I encourage area residents to apply for $150 million in state grants available to aid Minnesota habitat restoration, protection and enhancement.

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council recently issued its annual Call for Funding Request from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The process is competitive and open to all who wish to apply.

As a former chair of the House Legacy Committee, it remains my goal to ensure tax dollars the dedicate to support our state’s outdoor heritage are put to the best-possible uses and the administration of these grants is part of that important process.

Proposal requirements and terms of funding are outlined in the Call for Funding Request. To view details or learn more, visit: For answers to specific questions, contact LSOHC Staff:

The OHF is one of four funds established as a result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, passed by Minnesota voters in November of 2008.  

Watch for more from the Capitol soon and, as always, please stay in touch.