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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Blessings to you and your loved ones this Easter time.

As I ponder what happens here in St. Paul, I realize that the vast majority of people are looking to politics, science and education for the solution to life’s problems, and not to Jesus Christ.

It was the resurrection of Christ that caused the disciples to go out to change the world of their day. They preached that Christ was alive and this should be our message, not only at Easter but every day of the year. The risen Christ wants to come into our hearts today. I pray you are able to find time to meditate on God’s most perfect gift this Easter.

On Tuesday, a bill I am authoring that provides grants to local businesses around Mille Lacs that have been negatively impacted by walleye mismanagement from the DNR received a hearing in the House Jobs Committee.

Similar to legislation I authored in 2016 that was later signed into law, this bill would provide grants to impacted businesses based on specific qualifying criteria. Grants to individual businesses are not to exceed $100,000.

The program would be developed by Mille Lacs County with oversight from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

With additional fishing restrictions set to be enforced on Mille Lacs this summer, this legislation would help recoup some of the losses businesses may experience.

On Wednesday evening the Claims Commission heard testimony from businesses from the Lake Mille Lacs area amounting to $7 million worth of losses resulting in claims against the DNR.

Part of the damages are a result of the DNR's negative publicity about the walleye in Lake Mille Lacs, and the constantly-changing regulations that caused a roller-coaster effect over the past 10 years, leaving these businesses with nearly no customers because of lack of activity on the lake.

Additionally, important legislation aimed at bringing down the cost of healthcare was moved out of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee this week.

House File 3543, authored by Rep. Greg Davids, reduces the tax on individual and small group health plans sold through MNsure. More specifically, the tax would be reduced from 3.5% to 2%. It is estimated that this will save Minnesotans around $30 million on their healthcare.

This is another important step in helping lower the costs of healthcare for Minnesotans.

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The leadership training group from Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce visited on March 22 and are pictured here in the Rotunda of the Capitol. It was wonderful to have Chamber members sit in on hearings both in the House and Senate and to experience the beauty of our capitol.

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Faith Christian high schoolers (Foreston) visited on March 22 as well. They spend the day in committee hearings, touring and ending the day viewing our House session from the gallery. What a great group of students!?

That’s all for this week’s update. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding a matter related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn.

Have a blessed Easter,

Sondra

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