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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jim Nash (R)

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Legislative Update (April 22, 2016)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

To honor the Passover holiday, the Legislature is not conducting business today. Despite the shortened week, we’ve been busy over the past few days. I wanted to pass along some information on a couple of my bills moving through the legislative process.

Bill to Benefit Carver County

One of the bills I’m working on, HF2927, is scheduled to be voted on this Tuesday. This bill would be a big boost to agri-tourism like the many wineries in Carver County. My legislation would allow eligible businesses to post two informational “specific service” signs on two separate trunk highways within 15 miles of the business. The problem arose in our area where the wineries had to choose to place two signs on either Minnesota 5 or Minnesota 7, but not one on each highway. This is a common sense bill to give our local businesses more exposure and ease of access for potential customers. This bill will allow farm wineries and other agri-tourism businesses like them across the state to utilize these signs. The best part is there is NO cost to the state as the business owners pay for the signs.

Local Government Bill

Another bill, HF1291, is coming to the floor soon. The legislation gives power back to our township boards rather than the state. Currently, when a county attorney is prosecuting a fine (like a speeding ticket) under the purview of a city or town, 66% of the fine is sent to the state general fund. My bill allows townships to keep the 66% of the fine instead of sending it to vanish inside the state coffers. In short: the legislation is a victory for townships.

Pro-Development Legislation

I’m the chief author of a bipartisan bill, HF2585, to provide citizens with greater voice in a sometimes difficult process. Currently, a municipality can decide by majority vote to prohibit housing development for no reason at all for up to one year without warning and without the opportunity for the landowner or developer to have a hearing. My bill requires a two-thirds vote for this “interim ordinance”, and requires the municipality to give 10 days’ notice and hold a hearing if the development involves housing. This bill would protect every-day Minnesotans who are either building a home on a previously residential zoned lot, or developers who are employing people to build homes and give them more of a voice in this process.

Visitors to the Capitol

This week I was pleased to host Watertown City Council member Deborah Everson to the Capitol. She shared with me the need for a meaningful transportation bill that is focused on roads and bridges and tax relief for citizens and small businesses. Local doctor Scott Jensen also joined me this week. Scott and I talked about health care, transportation, and tax relief.

I would love to host you at the Capitol, too!  If you would like to come down for a visit, I would be happy to have you stop by. The coffee is always on, and I would welcome your insight into things we are discussing.