We have about a month left of the 2014 legislative session. In the closing weeks, the House is expected to pass a $846 million bonding bill, as well as a supplemental appropriations bill and a second tax cut bill that aims to lower property taxes particularly in Greater Minnesota.
As of today, the final version of the House and Senate bonding bill that will be voted on have yet to be released, so it remains to be seen what projects will be included.
I'm hopeful that Capital Investment Chairwoman Rep. Alice Hausman will include bond funds for the replacement of the Malone Island Bridge in Isle. It's a relatively small price tag, but is absolutely crucial as the bridge is in disrepair and structurally deficient.
I will keep you up to date on the bonding bill and its progress once it comes to the floor.
Last week a coalition of anglers, resort owners, and other Mille Lacs stakeholders announced a lawsuit against the DNR alleging mismanagement that has decreased the walleye population over the past several years. The group specifically cited the 1998 constitutional amendment passed by voters that aims to protect Minnesota's hunting and fishing heritage.
Lake Mille Lacs has a long history of being one of the premiere walleye fishing lakes in the country. The DNR's inept handling of the walleye populations in recent years puts that heritage at risk, and calls into question the effectiveness of their management of the lake.
I support efforts to hold the DNR accountable for their management of Lake Mille Lacs. Additionally, I hope this prompts the DNR to honor the state's open meeting law when making decisions regarding the 1837 Treaty area that impact fish limits and populations.
Opening the process and allowing anglers, resorters and guides to share their wealth of knowledge about the lake would go a long way to improving DNR management of the lake and its fishing resources.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns in the closing weeks of session, I hope you'll contact my office by calling 651-296-6746 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week,
State Representative, District 15A