93rd Minnesota Legislature, Olmsted County legislative priorities
Each year, the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners approves a set of priorities for advocacy during the state legislative session. If you’d like more information about any of these priorities, please contact Jennifer Berquam.
The 2024 Legislature will convene on February 12, 2024. For up-to-date information, please visit the Minnesota Legislature website.
2024 State Legislative Priorities
Olmsted County-specific proposals
Next Generation Resource Recovery for Climate Resiliency
Support state capital investment for 50% of the cost to enhance the county’s integrated resource recovery system. The funding will be used to construct a community reuse and recycling center, purchase and install food waste separation equipment in the new materials recovery facility, and plan for a carbon capture, utilization, and storage system associated with processing solid waste at the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility (OWEF). The project aims to support and facilitate climate resiliency by capturing waste materials and carbon and effectively managing them as useful resources.
Support state capital investment for 50% of the costs for adaptive reuse and facilities conversion at Graham Park, 60 acres of public land in Rochester owned by Olmsted County. The project includes renovating and re-purposing the historic county highway department building to add an affordable venue for community gatherings and cultural celebrations. This investment assures that this site and its 100 years of history will continue to be a welcoming place for all residents to gather, celebrate, and learn.
Lake Zumbro Park
Support state capital investment for 50% of the costs to improve Lake Zumbro Park. Objectives of the project are to enhance the park’s ADA accessibility while creating new amenities that are more user-friendly and accessible to individuals and families in the county and southeast region of the state.
Proposed Interchanges at CSAH 3/TH 14 and CSAH 5/TH 14
Support state capital investment for design and environmental review services for two proposed interchanges at County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 3 and Trunk Highway (TH) 14 and CSAH 5 and TH 14. The 2021 US Highway 14 Corridor Analysis Project established a long-term vision for TH 14 between Rochester and Kasson to improve safety and mobility and encourage regional development. The implementation plan from the analysis project identified the construction of an interchange at both locations in the Byron area of Olmsted County.
Tax forfeiture remediation site
Support state funding to clean up a 12-acre tax forfeiture site in Haverhill Township. Olmsted County has spent more than $150,000 to address immediate environmental threats, such as sealing the well and asbestos abatement. Future expenses to complete the remediation activities are estimated to be $800,000. These efforts will include removal of tires and other solid waste, demolition of buildings, and further asbestos abatement. State funding to help counties address the costs of cleanup activities on tax forfeiture properties are vital to ensuring these lands will be safe and productive for the future.
Construction materials and equipment state sales tax exemption
Support a state sales tax exemption for construction materials and equipment associated with the Olmsted County materials recovery facility
Statewide issues impacting all counties
Resource recovery facilities: Ensure the viability and success of resource recovery facilities
Olmsted County’s Waste-to-Energy Facility supports the state’s solid waste management hierarchy and helps provide an effective, efficient, and environmentally focused waste management system for all residents. The state has delegated solid waste management responsibilities to counties through Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 400 and 473.
Support key policies to improve the mental health system in Minnesota.
- Establish a Medicaid benefit for services provided to individuals 0-18 years of age experiencing mental health crises. A Medicaid benefit for these services has historically been offered to adults in Minnesota.
- Increase capacity statewide for youth mental health secure treatment facilities.
- Increase capacity statewide for long-term residential care facilities to support youth and adults with mental health needs.
Human Services technology modernization
Support structural investments to modernize, sustainably fund, and collaboratively govern human services technology system improvements, with funding specific to facilitating local system infrastructure and innovation.
Transportation bonding: Support bonding investments for state-wide local
Support bonding investments for state-wide local transportation infrastructure programs: $200 million for the Local Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program, $250 million for the Local Road Improvement Program, and $15 million in bonds and $16.5 million in cash for the Local Road Wetland Replacement Program.