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State Representative Anna Wills

491 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4306

For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809

Posted: Aug 27 2015 2:44PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

News from Representative Wills 08-27-2015


Dear Friends,

The beginning of the State Fair and the chilly mornings are a reminder that it's back to school season! For those of you visiting the State Fair, the House of Representatives booth is located in the Education Building. You can find detailed directions and more information here.
 
With students heading back soon, I thought it was a good time to review the bipartisan legislation passed earlier this summer that kicks in for this school year.

Our education bill boosted education funding by $525 million, which will mean about $330 in increased per-pupil funding for schools in District 196 Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan. Important reforms were implemented that will make it easier for qualified out-of-state teachers to come to Minnesota, as well as loan forgiveness for teachers who teach in shortage areas; both of which will help Minnesota address our pressing teacher shortage.

Three bills I worked on that were included in the final education bill and begin this school year include: increased flexibility for compensatory funding to ensure that dollars are being spent wisely in areas where they can have the most impact, a $3.5 million boost for Reading Corps which has been shown to improve reading and other skills for students, and streamlining paperwork for Special Education by implementing Legislative Auditor recommendations.

The reforms included in the Education bill signed into law by the Governor are a good first step, but it's going to take more than just increased funding and small tweaks to close our achievement gap and ensure that more students are put on a path toward future success. The recently released MCA test results show that despite increased funding over the past few years, results are not improving and too many kids are still struggling. I hope we will continue examining ways to boldly reform our education system that gives more power to students and families and boosts education outcomes. If you have ideas, I hope you'll send me your thoughts at rep.anna.wills@house.mn or call 651-296-4306.

Youth Moving Forward
Last week, on August 19th, I attended an event put on by Youth Moving Forward, where I was able to listen to a fascinating panel discussion and watch a powerful documentary on youth homelessness. I was also honored to receive a Legislative Champion Award for my work on the Homeless Youth Act. Ending youth homelessness and helping young people escape poverty and build a better life for themselves is something that I am passionate about and will continue to work on at the legislature.

IN THE COMMUNITY:

Blood Drive Will Honor Rosemount Child
The American Red Cross is teaming up with the family of Lilah Kelley, a Rosemount child who was diagnosed with cancer after her first birthday, for a blood drive on September 8th. Lilah received numerous blood and platelet transfusions during her hospital stay, and is now in remission. The blood drive will take place from 1-7PM on September 8th at the Rosemount Community Center. For more information on the blood drive, and to read more of Lilah's story, you can check out the article by the Rosemount Town Pages here.

Best Place to Live
Money Magazine ranked Rosemount as the 12th best place to live on their 2015 "Best Places to Live" list. It's great to see national media organizations confirm what those of us who live in the South Metro know; we're lucky to have strong community involvement, affordable housing prices, and thriving small businesses who are the backbone of our area. Read more at the Money Magazine website by clicking here.

Vermillion River Trout Regulations Meeting
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is holding a public meeting on September 10 at the Vermillion Highlands Wildlife Management Area office at 15325 Babcock Ave in Rosemount to discuss proposed changes to how trout are regulated on the Vermillion River in Dakota County. If you're unable to attend and have input you'd like to send along, written comments can be sent to the DNR East Metro Area Fisheries Office at 1200 Warner Road, Saint Paul, MN 55106 or by email to metroeast.fisheries@state.mn.us. Comments must be received by 5PM on September 20th.

Give Input on 42/52 and Hwy 77/Palomino/127th Plans
If you were unable to attend yesterday's open house to discuss the Highway 52/County Road 42 interchange project, you can send comments to Jacob Rezac, project manager, at jacob.rezac@co.dakota.mn.us.

For those who live near the Highway 77 & Palomino/127th exits in Apple
Valley, Dakota County is taking comments on proposed changes to the area. Please provide comments via email to
cedartransit@co.dakota.mn.us or call 952-891-7986 by tomorrow, August 28th, 2015 For more details, visit: http://www.cedartransitway.com/.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or feedback. You can reach me by email at rep.anna.wills@house.mn or call 651-296-4306. You can also follow updates on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/repannawills and www.twitter.com/annacwills.

Have a great weekend!

Anna Wills
State Representative, District 57B

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