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State Representative Peter Fischer

201 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-5363

For more information contact: Matt Roznowski 651-296-8875

Posted: Nov 24 2014 9:32AM
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GUEST COLUMN

Priorities for the legislature in 2015


Now that this year’s election is behind us, I want to thank the great people of White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, Maplewood, Birchwood and Willernie for participating in our democratic process. It is an honor to represent you in the legislature. I look forward to continuing to work across party lines to bring about more progress for our communities during my second term.

With the holiday season now in full swing, I wish the very best for you and your loved ones as we cap off another exciting year and prepare to tackle big challenges that lay ahead.

We continue to see strong economic growth in our metropolitan region. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment of Economic Development, employers added 9,500 jobs during October, lowering our unemployment rate to 3.9 percent – the lowest level since June 2006. It caps a three month period of robust job creation (nearly 30,000 jobs created over that span) with all signs showing our economy will continue growing in the months and years ahead.

In order to build on our economic progress at both at the statewide and local level, I believe we need to focus on three key issues during the upcoming legislative session: education, transportation and our environment.

Investing in our children’s education is the best investment we can make as a state. Over the past two years, we made big gains by funding all-day kindergarten for every child, expanding early childhood scholarships for low-income families, freezing college tuition and boosting financial aid to help reduce student debt. Over the next two years, state lawmakers should discuss how we can bolster our support for early childhood education – something that would go a long way toward helping close our achievement gap and make sure every child is better prepared for college and a career. I also want to extend the current tuition freeze for another two years and expand student debt relief options for college graduates.

Our state’s road, bridges and public transit systems are vital arteries of our economy. They allow businesses to get their products to market, workers to get to their jobs, consumers to purchase goods from local shops and so much more. Although the legislature made an important down payment on improving key corridors of commerce throughout our state over the past two years, our transportation system (especially in the east metro) was badly neglected for far too long. Improving access to safe, affordable and efficient forms of transportation for people and businesses in our region will be a top priority during the 2015 legislative session.

Lastly, I will continue my focus on forging bipartisan support for solutions that restore White Bear Lake. This year, I was appointed to serve on the newly restored Legislative Water Commission tasked with extensive study of the latest science and data on water sustainability. The Commission will make policy recommendations to the entire legislature. I will use my role to heighten our sense of urgency to protect our water supply, especially in the northeast metropolitan region. By continuing to work in tandem with local leaders like White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson and the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce, I am confident that we can make additional progress over the next two years.

As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts, concerns and comments. Please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at (651) 296-5363, by email at rep.peter.fischer@house.mn or by postal mail at 421 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55155.

It is an honor to serve you and our communities.

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