June 25, 2007

Sen. Koch presents legislative update to chamber members

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Minnesota Senator Amy Koch (R-Buffalo) presented a legislative update to members of the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon at its monthly meeting.

Koch, who is in her second legislative term, was elected in a special election to replace Mark Ourada, and was re-elected in 2006. She said this year was a budget year, where lawmakers set the budget for the state for the next two years.

“This year was really the meat and potatoes of what we do down there,” Koch said.

She serves on committees for finance – economic development budget division; business, industry, and jobs; energy, utilities, technology, and communications; finance – E-12 education budget division; finance – transportation budget and policy division; and transportation.

Koch said this year, that lawmakers technically completed all the work they were required to, but there has still been talk of a possible special session, due to several bills “left hanging.”

Koch touched on some of the things completed during the session, including the statewide smoking ban, which goes into effect Oct. 1, which states there is no smoking in any workplace. She also talked about education funding, budget surplus, and transportation, among other issues.

Some different things Koch noted include that American flags sold in Minnesota now must be made in the USA, the Car Buyers Bill of Rights, and that non-resident fishing licenses will increase $2. She said medical marijuana came close to passing, but did not make the cut.

“It was not a bill I could support,” she said.

Those in attendance asked several questions about property tax reform and transportation.

Rep. Tom Emmer is scheduled to be present at the chamber’s next monthly meeting Thursday, July 19 to also present a legislative update.

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