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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Friday, February 23, 2018

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Before I give a recap on the week that was, I wanted to take a moment to honor the lives that were lost in the Florida school shooting last week. As Chair of the Education Innovation Policy Committee and a retired school teacher, the education of our youth has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Ensuring that our students can learn in a safe and stable environment is crucially important for their academic success.

Here were my opening words at the first meeting of the Committee on Education Innovation Policy this week:

Before we begin the business of the day, let us observe a moment of silence to honor the lives of the 17 students and staff who died in the heart-breaking tragedy at Marjorie Stone-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week; to ask for comfort for the family and friends of these beloved; and for continued healing for those wounded physically and emotionally that day. Tragedies like this affect not just a local community in which they occur, but the entire nation.

Tuesday marked the beginning of the 2018 legislative session and I was happy to get back to St. Paul to work on the issues that matter most to you, your family, and our community. As stated in last week’s update, this year’s session is expected to be heavily focused on policy related legislation since the two-year state budget was debated and enacted in 2017.

Bill introductions by me so far this session focus either on education policy or Lake Mille Lacs issues.

First, on the policy side of education is a proposal to transfer administration of school trust land from the DNR to the Legislative Permanent Trust Fund Commission who will advise the director on the management of the permanent school fund land held in trust for the school districts of the state. The director will implement management policies for the trust lands according to the Constitution. Furthermore, a management account is created in the state treasury and the money in the account spent only for purposes such as the enhancement of future mineral income and improved ways to enhance the forest value of the lands.

Directly related to Lake Mille Lacs are three policy bills: a requirement that the DNR Commissioner invite at least two members of the Lake Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee to attend all meetings of the 1837 Ceded Territory Fisheries Technical Committee; a legislative study group on Lake Mille Lacs co-management; and the establishment of a task force to review issues related to the DNR's co-management of Lake Mille Lacs.

I look forward to having these bills heard in Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee in the House so that Lake Mille Lacs citizens can recommend change and reform.

Additionally, I spent Wednesday in a morning-long training session on implicit bias and all afternoon in a training session on sexual harassment. I found both sessions to be invaluable both for me professionally and personally. We had excellent presenters.

That’s all for this week. As always, please be sure to reach out and share your thoughts or concerns regarding any matter of state government. It would be great to speak with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at

Have a great weekend,


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