Category Archives: Torrey Westrom

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Torrey Westrom’s Capitol Report.

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Legislative update from Senator Torrey Westrom.

Torrey Westrom Back at the Capital

Dear Friends,

Welcome back to another full and meaningful year. I am excited to begin the new 2015 legislative session and am honor and privileged to continue representing the citizens of Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stearns, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin Counties.

The Minnesota Legislature reconvened in St. Paul on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, to begin the 2015 legislative session. This year saw a change in the power structure with the House of Representatives being controlled again by the Republicans. Governor Dayton won his re-election and the Senate remained the same, as they were not up for election last fall. This year will likely see more bold reforms and innovative policies. Hot agenda items likely to be addressed this session will be budget agreement, transportation funding, and tax reforms to provide some relief to hardworking taxpayers.

Tax reform and relief has long been a goal of Republicans. With the past two years of tax increases, Minnesota families deserve some relief. A good starting point would be to conform to the federal tax code and give tax relief in the same areas the IRS allows families to deduct or exempt.

Other issues that will require attention include funding and the way we manage our schools and our health care system. Also, finding ways to improve efficiency to stretch our transportation dollars. Stop the pursuit of more and more light rail trains in the metro area that are very expensive methods of public transit. The focus needs to be on investing in our roads and bridges.

I look forward to continue serving as a member on the Finance committee, the Transportation and Public Safety Committee and the Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division Committee.

As always, I welcome constituents to come visit me or call me toll free at my St. Paul office at (855) 407-7386 or (651)-296-3826, by email at sen.torrey.westrom@senate.mn, or by mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155.

Finally, the Minnesota State Capitol is currently undergoing a $270 million historic renovation project that has two-thirds of the building blocked off. Sadly, the Capitol is closed to weekday school and group tours this session. We still welcome visitors, but those who come should be prepared to maneuver all the construction zones and to witness the historic renovation that is going on.

Warmest Regards,

Torrey Westrom

Minnesota State Senator

Senate District 12

Westrom Tells EPA to Ditch New Navigable Waters Rule

 

(ALEXANDRIA, Minn.) – Today, Torrey Westrom submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency over the EPA’s proposed rule to redefine “waters of the U.S.” – or navigable waters – under the Clean Water Act.

The new rule would redefine navigable waters as any body of water that is adjacent to or near a larger downstream water source, making it subject to federal regulations and permitting. The rule would also allow the EPA to seek comment on other waters, which could later be subject to regulation as well.

After hearing concerns from farmers and voters in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, Westrom submitted the following comments to the agency:

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal to change the definition of ‘navigable waters’ under the Clean Water Act is a naked attempt to expand their own authority beyond the scope of the law and will have devastating consequences for Minnesota’s farmers, families, land owners and small business owners.

“Congress was clear when it passed the Clean Water Act that the EPA’s authority would cover ‘navigable’ waters, but this new rule will extend the EPA’s authority to everything from small ponds to ditches in fields. This is government overreach, pure and simple. Federal officials are throwing the legal definition to the wayside and creating nearly limitless regulatory authority, which will hurt our communities. Any changes should be made through the legislative process, where voters can keep government accountable, rather than through a federal agency’s rule making.

“Farmers and small business owners in places like where I live in Elbow Lake, and our surrounding agriculture communities in northwest Minnesota, cannot afford any more burdensome regulations handed down from the federal government. After a historically harsh winter and with a sluggish economy, the last thing America’s agriculture sector needs is unnecessary burden that will stifle business. We know our towns, down to the ponds and ditches in our fields, better than any unelected bureaucrat from Washington.

“The EPA should ditch the proposed rule, which will harm farming communities and families.”

Westrom, the Republican candidate in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, is one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Gun” candidates in a targeted House race. For more information visit torreywestrom.com.