Happy first day of the new #mnleg session, everyone. The start of a new session kind of has that back-to-school vibe except that everyone at this school is repeating sophomore year for the third time after either failing or getting an incomplete in almost every class and refusing to go to summer school.
This year might be different—the Alpha Betas have overthrown the Tri-Lambs, leaving Gilbert…I mean, Dayton…with the bulk of the onus for stopping Stan…I mean, Daudt. Okay, don’t stop reading. I promise I’ll stop.
There continues to be a great deal of emphasis on the work the MN legislature needs to do to finally deliver tax, bonding, transportation, broadband, and a host of other legislation, but we here at Apparatus have our noses to the ground for legislative activity we anticipate in areas that are lower profile and perhaps more esoteric and have the potential for enormous broad-based impacts across different levels and systems of governance. For instance, we anticipate that there will be record attempts to preempt local government control, to enact legislative approval of agency decision-making, to change notice and standing requirements for challenging agency permitting decisions, to gut regulator monitoring and enforcement authorities, etc. etc. etc.
These types of legislative provisions are notoriously difficult to track, identify, and evaluate since they can pop-up in virtually any piece of legislation in any committee and often appear to be a minor innocuous change despite, in reality, having broad constitutional and governance impacts for a wide range of stakeholders.
We’re introducing Interested Party as a regular feature on our blog during the legislative session through which we’ll suss out these little legislative gremlins and explain what their system-wide impacts may be when they get wet. If you’ve got an issue to share, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’m sure our readers will appreciate a break from my pop culture analogies.