Throughout March, the House Republican Caucus has been recognizing Women’s History Month by posting videos of our female House members on the importance of women in the legislature and why we decided to run for office. In my video, I discussed what I learned from my mother and some of my other female role models
You can see my Women’s History Month video here.
Avian Influenza Update
Cases of highly pathogenetic avian flu have come to the upper Midwest as farmers are concerned that another avian flu outbreak could be heading to Minnesota, similar to the 2015 outbreak. Back in 2015, 9 million birds in Minnesota were killed by the virus or euthanized to slow its spread.
A reminder, avian influenza does not pose a food safety risk and poultry products remain safe and nutritious.
The 2015 outbreak was devastating to the agricultural community. In response, the legislature provided significant funds to help deal with the emergency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) instituted numerous biosecurity measures meant to slow the spread of avian flu if another outbreak came to Minnesota.
It unfortunately looks like another such outbreak could be on the way. Here in St. Paul, our leads on this issue have been holding weekly calls with MDA and are working proactively with stakeholders to make sure we minimize the impacts of this outbreak. The Board of Animal Health has set up a website with resources on this matter and I encourage you to visit it to learn more about ways to prevent outbreaks: https://www.bah.state.mn.us/hpai/
This week, I joined a group of House Republicans in introducing a resolution to encourage President Biden to take steps to make the United States energy independent.
With the war happening in Ukraine, and the price spikes we’re seeing at gas pumps across the state, it’s never been more clear that we need to pursue a national policy of energy independence.
With energy independence, we can make sure that our dollars aren’t funding the Russian war machine, and at the same time make sure that energy prices aren’t dependent on foreign wars. Additionally, we can create thousands of well-paying jobs for Americans.
Let’s get this done!
Committee Deadlines and State Office Building Reopens
The first committee deadline is today, March 25th. This first deadline is for legislative committees to act favorably on bills in their house of origin. This means for bills to have a chance of becoming law this year, they need to receive at least one hearing before today. If not, the bill is highly unlikely to continue moving through the legislative process.
In the Education Policy Committee, we acted on the omnibus bill for our K-12 public schools. I voted NO because the proposal includes nearly 150 policy changes and far too many new mandates at a time when the focus should be on ensuring that students catch up from lost learning that occurred during the closure of our schools and the pandemic.
After almost two years of closure, the State Office Building finally reopened to the public on this week. It’s ridiculous that it was closed this long, but that decision ultimately was up to the Speaker of the House, Melissa Hortman. Nevertheless, it is great news that constituents will more easily be able to travel to St. Paul to petition their representatives in person.
If you plan to be in St. Paul anytime soon, please reach out to my office to set up an appointment. It would be great to chat with you and discuss ways we can strengthen our communities and state.
Staying in Touch
Please be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson.
Have a good day,