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Over four decades ago, the United States Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the St. Croix Riverway was one of the original eight rivers included in that Act. Over time, as the St. Croix River Valley has become much more densely populated, the need to facilitate the mutual security interests of its border states has presented the need to address the critical need for a new river crossing.
This past week I was honored to be among the delegation that met on-site with Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, the Mayor of Stillwater, and other elected officials from Minnesota and Wisconsin regarding the Stillwater Bridge situation. We were all briefed on the current condition of the structure, its various safety concerns, and the prospects of its replacement with a new bridge that not only meets the needs of our citizens today, but those of future generations.
We heard a number of individual concerns, and I am happy to report that there seems to be a great deal of support from Governor Dayton, Congresswoman Bachmann, and the Minnesota and Wisconsin delegations for a new river crossing.
We are fortunate to live near the beautiful St. Croix River, a national treasure. But it is time to install a bridge that ensures the safety of all citizens traversing the historic and critical Riverway which separates two of the greatest states in America.
At this point in time, we need an exemption to the Scenic Rivers Act that would allow us to move forward with a sensible solution to the Stillwater Bridge problem. We have the money, but now we need the federal legislation to get this long overdue task accomplished.
Please join me in appealing to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken in Washington, D.C. to get their support on this very critical issue affecting our current and future well-being. We have the support of our Wisconsin and Minnesota Congressional delegations to get behind the effort to make the new Stillwater Bridge a reality.
In other news, this past week The Health and Human Services Committee, on which I serve, passed HF 927, the companion bill to this legislation in the Senate is SF 760. These bills call for structural reforms designed to keep health care spending from overtaking the entire budget in the years to come. Prioritizing our spending to care for the most vulnerable has long been a priority for me.
In addition, a state government financing bill was approved that will reduce state agency spending by 34 percent, going from $771 million to $601 million. These bills are scheduled to be sent to the Governor for signature within the next couple of weeks. I will keep everyone posted on the results of these initiatives.
It is my honor and privilege to serve you as your representative at the Capitol. We are working very hard to get spending priorities in order, reduce waste and fraud, lower taxes, and promote a positive business environment that provides for economic growth and job creation.
If you have any questions or comments about this information, please let me know. My office phone is 651-296-4244, or please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also hosting my “Coffee with Kathy” sessions on Fridays from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Gorman’s Restaurant in Lake Elmo. Please contact Melissa Hackenmueller at 651-296-9471 to schedule a time to meet. I hope to see you there!
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