New House committees focusing on rural Minnesota

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ST. PAUL — The new Republican majority in the Minnesota House has formed several new committees aimed at highlighting specific concerns of rural lawmakers.

Republicans plan to continue focusing more attention on Greater Minnesota rather than the Twin Cities, a theme that helped them reclaim the House.

One of the new committees, the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy, points toward a non-metro agenda. But State Rep. Bob Gunther, committee chairman, said he wants to help the whole state, with a greater focus on the rural areas.

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Another committee, Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy, plans to address the project proposal of a copper nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

Minnesota House Research Department data shows non-metro counties pay 16 percent more in taxes than metro counties and get back 6 percent less in major tax aids, credits and refunds.