Last night in Aitkin County our Planning Commission put final touches on a new mining and reclamation ordinance. Specifically, metallic ores are now covered - their extraction, processing, and reclamation. For several years exploration in East Central townships of the county has been showing positive signs of nickel, copper, and platinum group metals at depths below a thousand feet. Here's an example of local government looking at essential regulation to protect watersheds and post-mining land use.
Last night in St. Paul, according to Doug Grow on the MinnPost Blog, the state government reached a new low with the chaotic midnight passage of a DFL tax bill to balance the six or seven billion dollar budget deficit for the next two years. The Governor on Friday had announced his intent to balance it "his way," by unallotment, borrowing, and line-item vetoes.
True to Tim Pawlenty's "no more taxes" pledge, given to his party in 2002, he most certainly will veto the new billion dollar tax increase, and there will be no special legislative session to negotiate any differences. Civility broke down on both the floor of the House and of the Senate, and the quoted angry outbursts make ugly reading this morning.
On a more cheerful note from the KAXE Morning Show's NPR correspondent, we hear that the President and the auto industry leaders have just come together to agree on measures that will increase vehicle fleet efficiency to 35.5 MPG and will reduce tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. Leadership happens. But not statewide in the state with only one senator.
It is time for grassroots citizens of the Gopher State to demand better.