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Observer Corps Report - 2/8/2019 Dakota County Legislative Workshop

Observer Corps reports are submitted by LWV Dakota County members that volunteer their time to observe and take notes at government meetings of interest to Dakota County residents. While we strive for accuracy, these observations may be incomplete or inaccurate in some respects.

Workshop Agenda Meeting Summary: Commissioner Workman led the welcome and the various staff and elected officials who represent Dakota County introduced themselves. No mayors were in attendance. Introductions were also made for the County's new lobbyists from Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

An overview was presented related to past legislative accomplishments. Handouts related to population, regional differences, and how Dakota County is changing were presented to the audience. Communities of color have grown since 1990. MN demographic projections show that within a few years seniors will outnumber children. Poverty in Dakota County has steadily increased since 2006. Jobs are needed to support families. Housing costs are a financial burden for many households.

Item III. 2019 Legislative Priorities were addressed. The County's legislative platform includes the following priorities:

A. Housing and economic stability with the desire that the Legislature should provide a dependable stream of funding, enhance rental assistance, and create dedicated, permanent funding sources for workforce housing.

B. Transportation with the desire for the current distribution of Motor Vehicle Lease Sales Tax (MVLST) be retained, an increase in sustainable funding for bridges, additional bonding for highway programs, and sufficient funding for metropolitan transit.

C. Natural resource stewardship with protection of conservation efforts, support of regional parks, and approval of state bonding for greenway projects. Support full funding of MN Historical Society grant programs.

D. Environmental protection with increased Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment (SCORE) funding. Approve bonding for hazardous waste collection and establish and fund a state program to reimburse public and private drinking water well owners for treatment of contaminants.

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