• 2019 •
MNLICA has been working on making working around farm taps safer. While there has been some discussion of transferring the ownership of farm taps from the land owner to Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation. This change has been in the hands of the Public Utilities Commission.
Distracted driving has led to death and injuries, loss of property and increased insurance costs. Much of this distraction comes from cellphones and other devices. Therefore, MN LICA encourages passage of HF50/SF91, which would prohibit the use of hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle.
MNLICA members work diligently to provide safe workplaces. With many members struggling to fill jobs positions, MNLICA questions the wisdom of legalizing recreational marijuana, as it will remove a significant number of potential employees who will not pass a drug test. Making recreational marijuana legal removes the stigma currently attached to marijuana. Numerous sources have warned of the damage that marijuana can do to the brain, especially to teenagers in those whose brains are developing. For the safety of our families and employees, we urge legislators to oppose HF420/SF619.
State agencies are formed to serve the public and serve the state. However, there have been instances when a state agency has drained a lake without permits and stood in the way of environmentally beneficial projects. Even though this agency is considered to have sovereignty, it should be emphasized that being a good neighbor is important for agencies and the environment. State agencies should be required to obtain local permits rather than act on their own.
Health insurance costs are a huge expense, especially for small businesses. MNLICA urges legislators to look for creative ways to deal with high health insurance costs.
The septic system issue for campgrounds has been resolved. MPCA has rolled back the changes to existing rule from six years ago. MPCA had stated that multiple systems within 0.5 miles of each other and under the same ownership were to be considered as one system, pushing campgrounds into state permits and affecting who would be authorized to work on the systems.
Over width oversize loads are still being allowed to be self-routed. This is a good change from trying to contact the state to do routing, especially when changes happen outside business hours.
There are concerns about reestablishment of records on public and private ditches. If the as-built or design plans are missing, then coring and sampling must be done to determine what the depth of the ditch was so that it can be cleaned out to the original depth. DNR has been a problem in this process.
MNLICA is still working on the issue of making sure wind turbine powerlines are not buried at the same depth as farm tile, to minimize conflicts.
MNLARS is still having delays with drivers’ licenses. Also, in years past, if the license tabs on a vehicle were expired and the vehicle was not used, the renewal charge was eliminated for those months that the vehicle was not operated. This wasn’t necessarily in code, but it was commonly done.
The Drainage Work Group has been working on another method for allocating costs from repair of ditches. It uses LIDAR and global information systems and a run-off calculator formula. MNLICA is not taking an official position. We support using technology to make raising funds for repairs of ditches easier.