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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings from St. Paul, where a press conference provided me with an opportunity to express how important it is for Minnesota to look at eliminating unnecessary, burdensome parts of the permitting process across the board instead of catering to select interests.

Here is more on that subject and other items of interest:

Permitting reform press conference

As the House Republican lead on energy, I was pleased to participate in a press conference this week to explain why we should eliminate roadblocks in our state’s permitting process for everyone instead of simply catering to allies.

My message was delivered after Democrats in St. Paul announced they propose a bill allowing easier permitting exclusively for Minnesota’s clean energy interests.

It is nice to see our Democrat colleagues recognize Minnesota’s burdensome permitting is an obstruction for industries, small businesses, and communities across our state. That said, major reform is needed statewide instead of just the payback to political friends the Democrats propose.

Minnesota employees and job creators deserve a permitting process that is efficient and easy to follow not only for the clean energy sector, but also for other important industries like mining, housing, construction, manufacturing, and more. This does not need to be an either/or proposition. Minnesota can and should maintain necessary environmental and safety standards, while also giving job creators the certainty they need to invest in our state and its people.

There are countless examples of proposed projects that have been bogged down by Minnesota’s burdensome and drawn-out permitting process – leading many to simply walk away from the state altogether.

It is unfortunate that Minnesota has a reputation of being hostile to business growth and expansion thanks to our state’s outdated and overly burdensome process. This Democrat proposal will only make things worse. They are placing their thumb on the scale, sending green energy interests in the front of the permitting line and relegating the rest of Minnesota to the back of the bus.

If these changes Democrats propose are good enough for the clean energy sector, then they should be good enough for the rest of Minnesota’s businesses.

Democrats once again are choosing their St. Paul knows best approach and political expediency at the expense of our local interests and concerns. House Republicans stand ready to work on a bipartisan basis to ensure our permitting process is no longer a barrier to job growth throughout the state.

Office visitors

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by my office to discuss important issues in recent days, especially those from District 15A. Just some of the latest include:


Yellow Medicine and Redwood Soil and Water Conservation District


Southwestern Center for Independent Living


American Bikers for Awareness, Training, and Education of MN (ABATE of MN)

School safety

I mentioned in my last newsletter the Minnesota House had approved a bill to resolve last year’s change in law which caused school resource officers to be removed from schools throughout the state. After hitting a snag on Monday, the bill came back to the House for a vote on final passage and was approved 119-9. The Senate also passed the bill with overwhelming support and the governor enacted it.

More anti-2A bills

I have touched on anti-Second Amendment bills H.F. 601 (theft) and H.F. 4300 (storage) in previous newsletters. Now, two more anti-Second Amendment bills received committee hearings in the House this week. They include:

H.F. 2828, allows local governments to prohibit or restrict a person from carrying a firearm on government-owned property.

H.F. 3672, transfers firearm regulations away from the state to local governing bodies, allowing municipalities and counties to regulate the use and possession of firearms. This would result in a patchwork of firearm laws across our state and lead to potentially unconstitutional proposals by governing bodies.

As a proud Second Amendment supporter, I oppose these latest proposals. Once again, they seem to do more to make criminals out of good-faith gun owners instead of tackling the real issues such as enforcing our current laws.

Watch for more as we continue making our way through this session and toward our May 20 date for adjournment and, please, stay in touch.