I hope you have been able to warm up over the last week as temperatures have gotten a little more reasonable the past few days. Hearings at the capitol on a wide variety of bills in addition to constituent meetings fill most of my days in St. Paul. Here is a brief recap of the week that was.
Last week, I discussed developments in the Enbridge Line 3 replacement project. The Minnesota Court of Appeals had thrown out an appeal by the Minnesota Department of Commerce that was seeking to force the Minnesota Public Utilities (PUC) to reconsider their unanimous decision to grant the certificate of need for the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline.
The Order from the Court stated that Governor Walz had until February 12th to decide whether he would refile the appeal or let the project proceed. On Tuesday, Governor Walz announced that he would indeed refile the appeal—once again delaying the project.
I am incredibly disappointed that Governor Walz sided with environmentalists and is putting thousands of Minnesotans in danger by refusing to allow this desperately needed pipeline replacement project to proceed. This project has already undergone a rigorous permitting process and gained unanimous approval by the Public Utilities Commission. The time for additional delays and games is over.
In other news, the legislature heard a handful of bills on Thursday in the Taxes Committee that would reduce social security taxes at the state level. I am proud to be a co-author on House File 56 which modifies Minnesota’s Social Security subtraction to allow a taxpayer to subtract the full amount of the taxpayer’s taxable Social Security benefits.
With a $1.5 billion budget surplus, we should be looking for ways to deliver meaningful tax relief for Minnesotans. We were able to deliver substantial relief over the past two years but there’s still more we can do. I am hopeful that we can get something done on this front, especially as it pertains to social security taxes.
As I mentioned last week, you may have seen a letter to the editor in your local paper from me discussing the ethanol industry and the positive impact it has for farmers and their families. Once again, I urge you to fill up with E 15 if your car is rated to run it.
Finally, there has been some disturbing news the last week regarding comments made by Minnesota Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar. Her comments were offensive to those of the Jewish faith and I hope that she does a better job in the future representing our state and the citizens of our Fifth Congressional District. Those sorts of comments are not only wrong, but they are also embarrassing for the state as a whole.
Thank you to local residents that took time to visit St. Paul this week. It was great meeting with you!
That’s all for this week’s update. I will have more for you as the session progresses as it’s sure to be a busy year. In the meantime, I urge you to contact me if you have any legislative questions, concerns, or ideas. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-5356 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a good weekend,