The state bonding bill will play a leading role in the final stretch of the 2014 state legislative session.
During a conference call with Itasca County commissioners at the regular board meeting last week, Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL – Balsam, told the board that the bonding bill “will be the focus” when lawmakers return from a spring break on April 22.
Anzelc recapped the status of several county legislative priorities including the recent passage of a bill that would allow the county to transfer its nursing home bonds to lower interest yields. The Itasca County lawmaker also noted the defeat of a proposal that would have eliminated taconite tax relief funding for Grand Rapids, the city of Cohasset and Independent School District 318.
In addition to bonding, local lawmakers are likely to address fiscal disparities after returning from break, Anzelc told commissioners. Legislators hope to remedy huge, uneven spikes paid by local businesses under the fiscal disparities program.
In other business, the board:
• Listened to a report on veteran’s services from Itasca County Veteran’s Services Officer Hugh Quinn.
• Approved the minutes of the March 5 regular county board meeting.
• Recognized county employee hires, retirements, resignations, awards and promotions.
• Approved warrants in the amount of $557,741.02.
• Passed a resolution in acknowledgement of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
• Listened to an update from Eric Villeneuve on the status of the county’s loss of Children’s Mental Health funding. The money went to a new clinical/consultation care benefit, however, the funding is not yet available. Villeneuve told the board that the loss of funding was likely an unintended consequence of the funding shift. Currently, additional costs are being picked up by Itasca County.
• Provided input to Chrissy Krebs of Health and Human Services Business Division who asked for additional information on what commissioners were looking for in the monthly warrant report.
• Approved off sale liquor licenses for Cedar Creek Grille Inc. and Sure Game Wilderness following public hearings.
• Passed a resolution acknowledging county government month.