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

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Legislative Update (4-10-15)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you had a blessed Easter and that you were able to spend time with family and friends. I stayed in the district and worked but saw a lot of tanned faces when we returned to St. Paul.

As we resume our committee meetings to craft our omnibus spending bills, the legislature will focus on continuing our work to make Minnesota a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

2015 Lake Mille Lacs Fishing Regulations

Needless to say, I am very concerned about the future of our area based on the recent decisions by the DNR in regards to fishing regulations. What used to be a thriving place to fish and to bring the family for a day, a weekend, or several weeks now faces a challenge of a life-time. I encourage you to continue to make Lake Mille Lacs a destination, but focus on angling of more than walleye.

I will continue to work with the DNR to find ways to help our suffering economy and the image of the lake area based on their decisions.

The DNR released its 2015 fishing regulations for Lake Mille Lacs this past Wednesday. The 2015 walleye regulations are the tightest the DNR has ever imposed. Here are the details:

Walleye – Limit of one and the fish must be 19- to 21-inches long or longer than 28 inches. Night closure from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. May 11 to Dec. 1.

Northern pike – Limit of 10. One fish may be longer than 30 inches only if two fish shorter than 30 inches are caught on the same trip and in possession.

Bass – Limit of six smallmouth and largemouth bass in combination. Only one smallmouth bass may be longer than 18 inches.

Like the 2014 regulations, this year will also include a night ban on walleye fishing. However, the DNR has made two exceptions to the night fishing ban for this coming year.

Beginning Monday, June 8, muskie anglers may fish at night with artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. Also, bow fishing, for rough fish only, will be allowed at night beginning June 8 provided no angling equipment is in a boat.

Similar to last year’s night fishing ban, I have concerns about this year’s regulations and their impact on local tourism. Our local economy relies heavily on Lake Mille Lacs and the world-class fishing it offers. It is crucial that we strike the right balance between conservation and allowing our tourism industry to continue to flourish.

For more details on the regulations, you can read the DNR’s press release here.

House Sets Budget Targets

Late last month, House Republicans unveiled our budget targets for the biennium. Our General Fund budget target is $39.9 billion. Our proposal puts us $3 billion below the governor’s proposed $43 billion budget.

Here are the top line numbers:


  • GOP General Fund proposal: $39.9 billion


  • $2 billion in tax relief for Minnesotans


  • $100 million to the state’s budget reserves (the governor’s plan puts no money in reserves)

Ultimately, government spending should not grow faster than family budgets. From 2000 to 2013, Minnesota families’ budgets increased 12 percent while the governor’s proposal increases government spending by 75 percent from 2000 until today. In contrast, our proposal increases spending over the current biennium by 1.7 percent.

We set our targets with that value in mind and aimed to prioritize education, roads and bridges, and protecting aging Minnesotans’ quality of life.

Returning Local Control to our Communities

As the legislature continues its march towards the May adjournment date, many committees will be working on crafting omnibus bills.

I continue to be committed to ensuring that the legislature returns local control to our communities wherever possible.

Staying in Touch

Please visit and “like” my Facebook page for updates on all the important legislation and events that are taking place at the Capitol.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about issues that are important to you. My door is always open. If you would like to schedule a time to meet, please contact my office at or 651-296-6746.

Have a great weekend,


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