Legislative Update - March 20, 2023
Thank you to everyone who came out to our District 53 Legislative Town hall yesterday with Rep. Mary Frances Clardy and Sen. Matt Klein! We had an amazing turnout, and it was a great opportunity to update the community on projects and bills moving through the legislature and answer your questions about this session. Thank you to Joe Ferrer for attending and taking photos. If you couldn’t make it, you can always contact me with your questions or comments by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
SSP Doug Woog Arena
On Friday, the Capital Investment Committee, which I serve on, heard my bill appropriating funding to the city of South St. Paul to improve the Doug Woog Ice Arena. The arena has always been a place where our community can come together to play, but it is over 50 years old and needs improvement. This bill will help replace the roof and HVAC systems and ensure that our community can continue to use this arena in the decades to come. Thank you to South St. Paul Mayor Jimmy Francis for coming to testify in his St. Patrick’s Day green!
Environment Committee Update
Last week, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, which I chair, heard several important bills in preparation for upcoming committee deadlines.
Last week, we heard legislation that requires cumulative environmental impacts for air quality permits in environmental justice areas, and a bill for a pilot program for community air-monitoring systems. Low-income communities are more likely to be located near potential air pollutants, leading to disproportionate health impacts for those communities including asthma and other lifelong conditions. We must do more to ensure everyone has clean air to breathe.
On Wednesday, we heard a bill I have been carrying for several years to protect our native swan populations. The “Minnesota Swan Protection Act” increases penalties for those who harm swans, establishes protection areas for trumpeter swans where lead tackles would be prohibited, and starts a voluntary lead tackle collection program.
Trumpeter swans used to be on the brink of extinction, going from fewer than 100 in the 1930s to over 23,000 in the state today. I was proud to be joined by retired DNR conservation legend Carroll Henderson who helped that rebound here in Minnesota and I thank him for his testimony on how we need to leave lead tackle behind to protect our native wildlife. You can watch the hearing here.
House Floor Votes
Last Thursday, the House DFL passed legislation to provide emergency rental assistance to Minnesotans facing housing insecurity. The cost of rent and the number of evictions are increasing at a time when the protections and resources provided at the height of the pandemic are going away. We must deliver a lifeline to families as we continue our work to address the state’s housing crisis.
Stay in Touch
Please continue to share your questions, ideas, and feedback throughout the legislative session. You can reach me by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-296-6828. You can contact my legislative assistant Sam O'Neill at 651-296-3305 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.