Governor Mark Dayton says he is “genuinely undecided” the PolyMet mine issue. Earlier Thursday the Department of Natural Resources said the environmental impact studies around the mine meets the state’s standards for adequacy.
The project would need to receive more than 20 types of local, state and federal approvals and permits.
In addition, both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must still complete their records of decision. The Forest Service is expected to issue its final decision on the land exchange in late spring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ process will take longer.
Dayton says he wants that permitting process to take place before he gets involved.
On other issues:
Dayton says that DFL activists were reason Bernie Sanders won MN caucuses. He notes that the activists didn’t endorse him for Governor when he ran. Says Clinton would have won a primary and he’s in support of making MN a presidential primary state as Rep. Pat Garofalo has proposed.
On prison the state’s prison overcrowding problem Dayton said he’s against opening another prison or the state leasing out the Appleton prison. He’s OK with some expansion as has been proposed “we have to look at our old ways of doing things to see how we can improve them,” alluding to sentencing guidelines that are partially responsible for the prison population increase.
Dayton also railed against Republicans for their proposal that would link extending unemployment benefits for people who have been laid off on the iron range to a tax cut for businesses. Dayton said Republicans promised that a 26 week unemployment benefit extension would be the first thing they would work on. “And it ought to be a clean bill” . On the GOP plan to tie 29 million dollars in unemployment benefits to $300 million in tax cuts for businesses he said “I think that’s immoral.”