By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 2/10/2017
Hello from the State Capitol,
As nearly everyone is aware, next year’s Super Bowl will take place in Minneapolis, and with Super Bowl 51 now in the books Minnesota is on the clock as host for Super Bowl 52.
We’re expecting this event to draw hundreds of thousands to our state next February. In an effort to promote Minnesota and our outdoor heritage, I am authoring a bill that would waive a fishing license requirement throughout Super Bowl week.
Let’s face it, people outside of the Midwest think we’re nuts to drive out on a frozen lake in the middle of winter, cut a hole in the ice and try to catch a fish. There is a strong likelihood that a team’s fans from a warm-climate state will be making their first visit to Minnesota in order to watch the game. So why not encourage them to participate in the full Minnesota experience while they’re here?
The plan is also being received warmly by people connected to the “big game.” Minnesota Vikings Executive Vice President Lester Bagley recently said “We appreciate the effort by Representative Jurgens. Ice fishing is one of the many great outdoor activities that we would love our guests from around the world to experience when they visit Minnesota for Super Bowl 52.”
My hope is this bill will entice enough Super Bowl visitors to give ice fishing a chance, and once they discover how much fun it is they will return again and again.
I introduced the bill last week in the Minnesota House, and I’m looking forward to working with resort owners, Minnesota tourism officials, the Minnesota Vikings and the National Football League on this proposal.
The Minnesota House recently approved legislation that will allocate funds for the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program. The RFA partners with agricultural lenders to provide low-cost financing to farmers on terms and conditions not otherwise available from other credit sources. The RFA portion of the loan is carried at a reduced interest rate to improve the cash flow of eligible farmers.
With the RFA, borrowers make payments to repay the bonds so taxpayers aren’t on the hook; the State is just the conduit. The only way taxpayers are responsible is if there is a default, and in the life of the RFA, the default rate is nearly non-existent.
Basically, there was no money left in RFA, which is why we agreed to provide $35 million in bond proceeds to assist with RFA loans in the beginning farmer loan and seller assisted program, agricultural improvement program, debt restructuring program, and livestock expansion programs.
The legislation will now be debated in the Minnesota Senate.
Have a good weekend,
Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155