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State Representative Liz Olson

221 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4246

For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879

Posted: 2017-10-30
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - October 30, 2017


Dear Neighbors,

A few weeks ago, the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee toured Duluth. This committee is charged with crafting a bonding bill next session full of investments in public infrastructure throughout the state. Here in Duluth, we have several projects seeking funding from such a bill, and this was a great opportunity to highlight these to other legislators. Nearly all of these proposals are local and state partnerships, with significant local matching dollars. As we work to build a brighter future for our community and our state, taking good care of our public assets is important, and on a bipartisan basis, the legislature has traditionally recognized this.

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Touring UMD with Reps. Rob Ecklund and Jen Schultz

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Rep. Schultz and I chat about Duluth's infrastructure needs at the Steam Plant with Crystal Rep. Lyndon Carlson

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The committee received an in-depth explanation of Glensheen's deferred maintenance

While our infrastructure is certainly important, a bright future for Minnesota starts with our people, and specifically, the youngest among us. To get them on a path for academic achievement, investments in early childhood education are critical. This past session, the Legislature invested in school-based Pre-K and School Readiness Plus, opening the door to 3,000 more of our youngest learners to access quality early education.

The legislature also made investments in Early Learning Scholarships. I’m excited to share that the Northland Foundation is working to connect families with these scholarships of up to $7,500 per child, per year. Families with children age 3-5 may quality, and children ages 0-5 whose parents are under the age of 21, or children ages 0-5 experiencing homelessness, in foster care, or in need of child protective services are eligible and will receive priority for funds. For more information, visit the Northland Foundation online here

At the Legislature, more needs to be done to address persistent opportunity gaps and give families a leg up in emerging from poverty. Investments in early education provide a tremendous boost in these efforts, and I’m committed to improving upon this work. 

Prospects for a bright future were dimmed earlier this month when President Trump announced plans to wipe out the nation’s Clean Power Plan. Under this plan, introduced by former President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014, new rules would be implemented to reduce harmful carbon emissions from power plants. On a state-by-state basis, goals would be set for carbon reductions.

This decision from Trump, when added on to other moves such as withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, signal an unfortunate shift in attitude toward how we address climate change, with peer-reviewed science being dangerously disregarded. It’s unfortunate that when we are on the path to make significant progress on such a pressing issue affecting the future of our planet, with enormous pressure from special interests like the fossil fuel industry, roadblocks are put up.

Many Minnesotans understand the urgency of taking action on this issue, and if the federal government isn’t going to act, it’s critical that states do. Here in Minnesota, we are making tremendous progress toward our renewable energy standard, seeking to have 25% of all electrical generation coming from renewable sources. There is a bipartisan push underway to move the standard to 50% by 2030. This may seem aggressive, but with the rapid innovations we’re seeing in wind, solar, geothermal and other technologies, I’m confident we can get there. Not only do these developments address climate change and protect the planet for future generations, many great jobs are created in these industries as well.

Protecting our infrastructure, protecting our natural resources, and creating opportunities for people are all major parts of the equation to ensure our future is bright. Many of these underlying issues are complex, but by collaborating on effective solutions, we can deliver for Minnesotans both now, and in the future. I invite you to keep in touch with me and share your ideas and input how we face these challenges.

Sincerely,

Liz Olson

State Representative

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