Minnesota Legislature News Briefs: Frac-sand opponents call for state-wide moratoriumMinnesota Legislature
-- Opponents of "frac sand" mining in southeastern Minnesota are at the State Capitol today pushing for a two-year moratorium so the state can develop pollution standards.
ST. PAUL -- Opponents of "frac sand" mining in southeastern Minnesota are at the State Capitol today pushing for a two-year moratorium so the state can develop pollution standards.
Bobby King with the Land Stewardship Project says outside corporate interests want to push in -- something he says has been devastating in western Wisconsin, with polluted air and water, plus ruined farms. The silica sand is used in oil drilling and the boom in North Dakota has increased demand.
Two new state representatives will be sworn in today at the Minnesota Capitol. DFLer Clark Johnson of North Mankato won last Tuesday's special election in House District 19A while Republican Tama Theis of St. Cloud was the winner in House District 14A. Johnson's swearing-in ceremony in this morning at 9:30 and Theis will take the oath of office at 1 o'clock this afternoon. Theis succeeds GOP Representative Steve Gottwalt and Johnson fills the seat left vacant by DFL Representative Terry Morrow.
An 11-mile stretch of state Highway 23 between Cold Spring and Richmond would be named in honor of slain police officer Tom Decker, under a bill set for a vote in a Minnesota House committee this afternoon. Rockville Representative Jeff Howe is sponsoring the measure and says the purpose is to not only honor Officer Decker but also to remember his sacrifice. The investigation into Decker's killing remains open. Authorities had to release a suspect due to insufficient evidence. Another man whom authorities repeatedly questioned killed himself after a standoff with police -- but investigators stopped short of saying he was the officer's killer.
Give more Minnesota students access to school-based mental health services -- that's the objective of a bill being debated this afternoon in a House committee. Sponsor, Minneapolis DFLer Jim Davnie wants to increase state funding seven million dollars in the next two-year budget. He says when kids get needed mental health services they do better academically because they can focus on their studies. Davnie says school-based mental health providers are currently in about 500 schools, and in 65 of Minnesota's 87 counties -- and his bill would expand that.