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State Representative Abigail Whelan

439 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-1729

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: 2017-11-22
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update from Rep. Abigail Whelan (11.22.17)


Dear Neighbor,

I hope this Thanksgiving week finds you well. As we reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for, I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you for your engagement over the years. I am blessed to serve such an amazing community.

Below, please see a few updates from the Capitol as well as a special press release from my office.

Transportation Tour

House Image

Last week I had the opportunity to tour some metro-area construction projects, with commentary on each provided by MNDOT staff. It was a productive tour in that members of the Transportation Policy Committee were provided the opportunity to ask questions about each project.

While I know we still have work ahead to improve our transportation system in the metro and throughout the state, I am proud that the Legislature and Governor Dayton were able to pass a bipartisan transportation bill last session that provides the largest investment in roads and bridges in the last decade without asking Minnesotans to pay more at the pump. We were able to invest $300 million to improve our transportation infrastructure. Furthermore, our bonding bill focused heavily on transportation, with more than 25 percent (approximately $254 million) dedicated to transportation projects including local road improvements, rail grade crossings and local bridges.

In sum, I greatly appreciate the time and commitment of MNDOT staff to work with the Legislature. I look forward to seeing more road improvements in the coming months.

Highway 10

Also on the transportation front, the City of Anoka received $20 million from the Minnesota Highway Freight Program, administered by MnDOT, to put toward improvements along Highway 10 at Thurston and Fairoak. This is a great development, and notably, among the 19 projects that received funding from this pool throughout the state, Anoka received the largest amount of any single project.

While we still have some work to do (all told $33.4 million has been dedicated and the project will require $89.3 million), I am thankful for the progress being made. I am committed to doing what I can in the Legislature to help secure more funding for this project, and will keep working on this issue in partnership with the city and the county.

I encourage you to read the full press release from the city of Anoka available by clicking here.

Sex Trafficking

I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on Sex Trafficking recently at the law firm of Frederickson & Byron. This issue recently garnered a lot of attention in our community as plans for the Super Bowl ensued, for there is often an increase in trafficking around events of this size and nature.

Notably, many of those who combat this issue are striving to make sure people understand that it happens every day - in our own backyard. While I am grateful for our state's progress in this area, from our safe harbor laws to funds dedicated to combat trafficking, I know more work remains to be done and look forward to working on legislation to combat trafficking this next session.

I want to give a big thank you to Frederickson & Byron and the Minnesota State Bar Association for co-hosting the panel, as well as the panelists themselves: Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, Sgt. Grant Snyder, Washington County Attorney Imran Ali, and Hennepin County Senior Assistant Attorney Dan Allard.

And to all who combat this either by volunteering time, money or resources, thank you.

If you are interested in learning more on this issue or would like to get involved, there are many ways to do so. Below are just a couple of places to start, but there are many ways to be involved.

local: http://www.notinourcity5k.org/mn

State: http://mnhttf.org/get-involved/

http://mnhttf.org/human-trafficking/organizationsproviders/

National: https://polarisproject.org/

Press Release

The following is a summary of my most recent press release; the full release is available here.

In the spirit of the season of Thanksgiving, I want to say thank you to all of my constituents—thank you for entrusting me with the responsibility of representing our community in St. Paul. It is a blessing and a privilege, and I am humbled by all the support I have received over the last few years.

As happens, sometimes life brings unexpected curveballs, and life brought me a fiancé from England. We have talked and prayed a long time about whether I should run for office again, and it is with some heaviness of what I am leaving behind, but also joy at what lie ahead, that I am saying goodbye for a season. I don't know what the future holds, but I will not be seeking re-election in 2018...

Please know I will continue to serve with integrity and pride for our community during the 2018 session. I am still working on legislation with colleagues that I believe will make Minnesota a better place to live and raise a family, and I look forward to the opportunity to carry some of that legislation during the 2018 session...I will continue to advocate for the people and priorities of our community.

Thank you all again for your support over the years, from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all. It is a privilege to represent you.

Happy Thanksgiving

As we head into the often hectic holiday season, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our blessings, and I am thankful for so many things including my loved ones, our veterans and active military, our shared freedoms as Americans, and the opportunity to represent our wonderful community at the Capitol.

As I reflect further, I am also thankful for our country's tradition of Thanksgiving! In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation, “...to be devoted by the people of these United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks…for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government…particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed …to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”

These important truths should not be forgotten or ignored. May our tradition of giving thanks continue for generations to come.

In the spirit of the pilgrims, as we plan and prepare for this special day of Thanksgiving, let us consider those who may need a safe place to go or a warm meal to share. We truly have so much for which to give thanks. So however you plan to spend Thursday and a long-weekend, I hope you have a wonderful and blessed holiday. Also, if you plan to travel to visit family or friends, please travel safely.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Around the Community

Toys for Joy

Anoka City Hall and the Ramsey Municipal Center are drop-off locations for Toys for Joy. They are collecting new and unwrapped toys and gifts for children in Anoka County throughout the holiday season.

Ramsey Community Events

From art in the park to yoga classes, the community of Ramsey Parks and Recreation Department puts on a number of fun and interesting events for citizens of all ages. See the full calendar of upcoming events through the rest of the year here.

2017 Ramsey Photo Contest

Love living in Ramsey? Highlight why in the 2017 Ramsey Photo Contest! Your submission highlighting nature, parks and trails, industry and commerce, or everyday life in Ramsey is due by Tuesday, January 2. The grand prize winner will receive $100! Learn more about the contest rules and how to submit your winning photo here.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Mark your calendars for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Anoka City Hall River Plaza! It will take place Saturday, December 2 with events starting at 3:00 pm. See a full list of all the events happening here.

For Ramsey residents, mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 5 at the Ramsey Municipal Center. The event starts at 6:00 pm and there will be carols, cookies, pictures with Santa and more. Find out more here.

Over the River and Through the Shops

Anoka is putting on a number of holiday events over the next several weeks. Highlights include Small Business Saturday, story time with Santa, the hometown holiday celebration, and much more. See the full schedule here.

Homeless Veterans Housing Project

It’s amazing to see our community come together on the Eagles Healing Nest project to provide housing for homeless veterans in need. I want to give a big thank you to Senator Jim Abeler for his tireless work on this issue. With the holidays coming up, I am glad to know we will soon be able to help out more of our veterans who are struggling.

Legislators Unite to Volunteer is also doing a “Turn on the Lights for Homeless Veterans and Bedding Drive” on November 30 between 2 PM and 9 PM. They need new bedding for twin xl and queen beds including sheets, waterproof mattress protectors, quilted mattress pads, and soft blankets. They are also collecting 5x7 rugs. Feel free to stop by during that time, or anytime that they are open that works for your schedule.

If you have a moment, please see the following link to learn more about Eagles Healing Nest and see how you can help a great cause.

***

Please know my office is available should you need assistance on a matter of state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-1729 or via email at rep.abigail.whelan@house.mn. I also welcome your input and ideas on legislation and matters moving through the Minnesota House. I am here to serve you and it is a joy! Thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Abigail

 

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