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

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Legislative Update (February 11, 2019)

Monday, February 11, 2019


On Friday, I had the opportunity to address the Southwest & Waconia Chamber of Commerce. It was great to chat with business and community leaders, answer questions about the legislative session, and hear their concerns for our community and the state of Minnesota. I love meeting with constituents both in our community and at the Capitol. If you are going to be in St. Paul, please give my office a call or drop on by. 

Rep. Nash met with constituent and county commissioners and staff to discuss how
important funding for HWY 212 is to the safety and economic development to Carver County.

$15.7 Million MNLARS Request

Last week, Governor Walz made a request for $15.7 million more for MNLARS. The problem is that this request for almost $16 million comes without any plan to fix the MNLARS or details in how the appropriation would be used. Even worse, there was no similar request to make the deputy registrars whole from the harm they have suffered during the entire MNLARS mess. 

I outline the problem with this approach as well as give the governor credit for recognizing the need for a blue ribbon commission on IT at the sate level to avoid another mess like MNLARS in a short video. 

We need a full accounting of what went wrong with MNLARS, a detailed plan to fix it and make sure it never happens again, and finally, we need to provide reimbursement to the deputy registrars who have been harmed by the incompetent roll-out of MNLARS. This comprehensive plan should come before another dime is approved to be spent on MNLARS. 


Line 3

On Friday, I joined a number of my House & Senate Colleagues in sending a letter to Governor Walz urging him to support the Line 3 project and take the state of Minnesota out of any further action to delay construction of this important project. See the letter in full below:

Dear Governor Walz:

We are writing you in regard to the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project. We strongly encourage you to support the project and direct state agencies to complete the permitting process that would allow this critically important project to move forward.

Furthermore, in light of the recent decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals to dismiss the Commerce Department’s appeal of the project, we urge your administration not to file a petition for reconsideration challenging the unanimous vote by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to grant the certificate of need.

We believe after more than 3 ½ years of review and evaluation of the project by state and federal experts, 65 public meetings by state agencies, three weeks of evidentiary hearings by the Administrative Law Judge, tens of thousands of public comments, and the unanimous votes by the PUC, it is clearly time for the process to continue.

Minnesota has strong and robust environmental rules as well as an extremely thorough review process that balances the need to protect the environment and our state’s economy. The replacement for Line 3 will be a state-of-the-art pipeline that meets or exceeds environmental and safety standards as well as using industry best practices and technology. Making sure the project moves forward is an important opportunity for Minnesota to demonstrate its economic and environmental leadership to do things right for people and businesses across Minnesota.

Taking all of this into account, we strongly encourage you and your administration to support the Line 3 Replacement. Not only will it allow Minnesota to replace an aging pipeline, but it will also create the largest privately financed construction project in our state’s history. 

The Line 3 project has gone through the most rigorous environmental review imaginable and passed every step. It's time for the governor's office and agencies to allow it to move forward.

Housing Report

Minnesotans pay far more to build a new house when compared to homeowners in other states. These are the findings by the Housing Affordability Institute from its new report: The True Cost of Minnesota’s Broken Housing Market. The Housing Affordability Institute is a housing policy organization founded in 2018 by Housing First Minnesota. Its goal is to produce quality, informative research on homeownership and the cost drivers behind our growing affordability challenges.

The report detailed numerous land and regulatory policies that are driving up costs for new home construction in Minnesota, resulting in homes costing tens of thousands more in Minnesota than in Wisconsin and other surrounding states. One example found that the same home in Lake Elmo, Minnesota costs $47,000 more than an identical home in Hudson, Wisconsin, just ten miles away. 

According to the report, virtually every requirement in our region costs more than our Midwestern peers: Met Council growth boundary policies, infrastructure upgrade costs, stormwater regulation, building code, energy code, park dedication requirements, sales tax, permits, water/sewer connections, zoning requirements, escrows, and more.

We need to take a long look at this report and make sure we are not making the American Dream too expensive and out-of-reach for too many of our fellow Minnesotans. This report should be an eye-opener and help bring this conversation to the forefront. 


Please Contact Me

We’re back in session, and we’ll be discussing countless ways to improve our state. I hope you’ll call, email, or visit to share your thoughts, ideas, or questions. As you know, I’m here to serve you and want to help in any way I can. My office is located on the third floor of the State Office Building, Office 349. If you are coming by the Capitol, please stop by my office! 

Have a great week,