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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: May 16 2014 11:07PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

News from Representative Wills 05-16-2014


Dear Friends,

Today the legislature completed its business and adjourned sine die, a latin term for  "without day." In legislative terms, it means without assigning a day for a future meeting.

We passed a flurry of bills in the closing hours, and had the opportunity to hear from retiring members who will be greatly missed including nearby Reps. Pam Myhra from Burnsville and Mary Liz Holberg from Lakeville. We will certainly miss retiring members on both sides of the aisle, and I'm grateful to them for their service and all they've taught me during my first term.

Late yesterday evening, legislative leaders and Governor Dayton reached an agreement on a $846 million bonding bill and an additional $200 in surplus money to pay for construction and infrastructure projects across the state.

Included in the bonding bill was $12 million for the Minnesota Zoo; $7 million for asset preservation and exhibit renovation, and $5 million for Phase II of the Zoo's Heart of the Zoo Entry pavilion. The Zoo requested $17 million in bonding, and I authored a bill that would have provided the full $17 million, but am grateful nonetheless to see the Zoo receive a substantial amount of funding that will help make exhibit and infrastructure upgrades possible.

However, I was very disappointed that funding for Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) for Phase II of the Transportation and Emerging Technologies wing was pulled from the bonding bill in the final days of negotiations. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) has a project list ranked in order of importance and priority. Customarily, when lawmakers craft a bonding bill, they will include projects that are at the top of the MNSCU priority list. In this case, DCTC was one of the top projects on the list for MNSCU, but those on the conference committee deviated from the ranking and left DCTC out of the bonding bill in favor of other projects that were actually lower on the priority list.

This is wrong and unprecedented. I talked with several of my colleagues to try to find a way to get the funding back in, but unfortunately the final bonding bill did not have this needed funding.

Because Dakota County Technical College was omitted from the bonding bill, I could not in good conscience support the bill and I voted no. It's disappointing that rather than following MNSCU's priority list, as is the typical custom when crafting bonding bills, lawmakers decided to go out of order and pull out the DCTC project. Watch my speech on the House floor to hear my defense of this worthy project by clicking here or on the image below.

Town Hall Meetings
I will be hosting two Town Hall meetings coming up later this month and early in June in Rosemount and Apple Valley. Representative Tara Mack will also be joining me for the Apple Valley Town Hall. I look forward to updating you on the work done during the 2014 and hearing your questions, feedback, and concerns. I encourage you to attend whichever date is most convenient for you, and please don't hesitate to send your questions and comments to me at rep.anna.wills@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-4306 if you are unable to attend.

Details:

ROSEMOUNT
Wednesday, May 28th
6:00PM-7:30PM
Robert Trail Service Library
14395 S Robert Trail
Rosemount, MN 55068

APPLE VALLEY with Representative Tara Mack
Tuesday, June 10
6:00PM-7:30PM
Galaxie Library
14955 Galaxie Ave
Apple Valley, MN 55124

COMMUNITY EVENTS:

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
On Monday, May 12, I attended the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon meeting, and heard about their upcoming community events and the great work they are doing to support military members and their families in our community. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is an organization helps military members and their families, by providing support and various services helping to connect agencies, organizations, and other resources.  For more information on Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, please visit their website at http://www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org/rosemount.

Ceremony for Military Seniors
On Wednesday, May 14, I had the opportunity to attend a ceremony at Rosemount High School to recognize high school seniors entering military service. It was a privilege for me to be able to present each senior with a Minnesota House of Representatives Resolution to recognize this important decision in their lives, and it was inspiring to meet these young leaders who are entering the military to serve our country.

 

Thank you for the trust you've placed in me to work on behalf of our community over the past two years. I hope you'll keep in touch during the interim, and contact me if I can be of any help at all. You can always reach my office by emailing rep.anna.wills@house.mn or calling 651-296-4306.

Have a great weekend,

Anna Wills
State Representative, District 57B

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