Minnesota used to be a wheat state. But the state agricultural scene has drifted dramatically in favor of soybean and corn crops, which these days yield a much more productive and profitable harvest for the state’s cropland.
After months of controversy at the state Capitol about Legacy funding, a citizen/legislator panel has arrived at an apparent compromise to recommend outdoors projects paid for with dedicated sales tax dollars.
The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council last week wrapped up a hard-fought round of hearings on Legacy funding by making $102 million in recommendations for the 2014 Legislature. There are three items in particular that hung on to receive funding despite staunch opposition from some of the 12 members on the citizen/legislator panel.
In crafting its recommendations to the 2014 Legislature, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is internally divided on more than $30 million in requests to combat aquatic invasive species in Minnesota waters.
Farnsworth, a special education teacher who lives in Hibbing, has worked on political campaigns and served as a local and state-level party delegate.
Under the terms of a bill that passed the Legislature this spring, Minnesota is embarking on a first-of-its-kind experiment in preventing agricultural runoff from contaminating the state’s streams.
House and Senate conferees have agreed on a set of regulations for frac sand mining in southeastern Minnesota. One conferee said the breadth of the issues that are addressed makes the legislation the first of its kind in the country.
With most major finance bills clearing the House and Senate floors, attention will now turn towards conference committees this week. Conferees on several bills have already been appointed by legislative leaders.
If DFL majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate are to act on the brewing issue of frac sand extraction, they will first have to overcome internal differences that yawn as large as an open-pit mine.
Growing pressures on Minnesota’s water supply are bound to be a key issue for environmental committees at the Minnesota Legislature this session.
This month’s meager primary voter turnout has caused Gov. Mark Dayton and leaders from both parties to once again mull moving the primary to June. Just 9 percent of registered Minnesota voters turned out for the August 14 primary.
While excavating sand is nothing new in Minnesota, the rush to excavate large quantities to ship to the Dakotas has quickly unearthed a prominent issue for state legislators and regulators.
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