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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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News from Dave:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Dear Friends,

We received good news from the governor’s office on Friday regarding the implementation of the new agricultural buffer bill.

In a meeting with the Governor this week, legislative leaders were informed that private ditches will NOT be mapped for the buffer plan. This was an issue that was first addressed in November in a bipartisan letter to Governor Dayton explaining that the intent of the bill was not to have the DNR include private ditches as part of the bill.

Confirmation from the governor that the DNR will honor the legislative intent of the bill is good news for farmers and landowners as only public waters and ditches will be managed by the DNR. Private ditches will be left to local control by Soil and Water Conservation Districts and adopted into local water management plans.

This continues to be an issue that I will pay close attention to and pass along important information when it becomes available.

Broadband Expansion

This week, I pre-filed a bill that invests $35 million into the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. These funds are more than double what the state invested the last two legislative sessions combined.

In addition to this substantial investment, my bill provides increased transparency in the project selection process as well as additional flexibility in the types of broadband technology that can be funded under the grant program.

I am excited about the opportunity we have this session to make significant broadband investments in unserved and underserved areas of rural Minnesota. This bill is an important first step in this process.

Polar Plunge

A reminder that I will once again be participating in this year’s Polar Plunge. Join myself and other legislators on Saturday, January 30th at 1:00 pm, in Spicer, as we “take the plunge” into Green Lake’s icy waters—raising money for the Special Olympics.

As always, my door is open and I want to hear your feedback and comments. Reach my office any time by contacting or by phone at 651-296-6206.


Have a great weekend,

Dave Baker

State Representative, District 17B