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State Representative Karen Clark

273 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-0294

For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX

Posted: 2010-02-08 00:00:00
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Column/LTE

South Minneapolis Has a Voice in the 2010 Capital Investment Bill


On the first day of the 2010 Legislative Session the Minnesota House of Representatives introduced its Capital Investment Bill (House File 2700) with the clear intent of jump-starting Minnesota’s economy by creating jobs with the passage of an early, targeted bonding bill.
These challenging times require immediate and targeted action on the part of lawmakers to introduce an early jobs-creation bonding bill. Early passage of this bill can help put many Minnesotans back to work and as a consequence positively impact our budget deficit.
Coming in just under $1 billion, the bill emphasizes education investments, transportation and transit improvements, and clean water infrastructure. Key South Minneapolis bonding projects in the House Capital Investment Bill include:
• $10 million to repair and save public housing for our low-income Minnesotans who are elderly or disabled families with children.
• $5 million in Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Bonds to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties into rental housing which are located in areas that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, and to construct or acquire and rehabilitate permanent supportive housing, particularly for individuals who are either experiencing or at risk of experiencing long-term homelessness.
• $5 million for Hennepin County Medical Center’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (HBO), a specialized medical treatment in which a patient breathes 100% oxygen while inside a chamber at increased atmospheric pressure. HBO is used for emergency conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas embolism, gas gangrene, and decompression illness. This facility is the only 24 Hour emerging HBO chamber in Minnesota and 70% of the patients it serves come from outside Hennepin County. State funding for the relocation and construction of a HBO chamber is HCMC’s top priority.
• $840,000 to rehabilitate an old historic mansion that will become Minnesota’s first African American History Museum and Cultural Center. Sharing Minnesota’s African American legacy presents a tremendous opportunity toward creating an inclusive society while promoting cross cultural understanding. Currently Minnesota is one of only six states in the U.S. without a museum dedicated to preserve and present African American history and culture.
A top priority of the 2010 Legislative Session will be to pass a comprehensive capital investment bill that will target “shovel-ready" projects that can quickly employ many Minnesotans and businesses. Given the current state of our economy, we are focusing our efforts on stimulating economic development through job creation and investing in our infrastructure. I’m proposing a provision that will help ensure our low-income, Indigenous and people of color get access to a fair share of the job opportunities being created.
The bill will be heard in the House Capital Investment Committee this week and will be sent to the House floor for a full vote next week. I expect after a short conference committee, the bill will be sent to the governor’s desk by the end of this month.

Please feel free to call or write with any ideas or issues. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-0294, by mail at 471 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 or by e-mail at rep.karen.clark@house.mn.

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