For more information contact: Jason Wenisch 651-296-2317
On the eve of the 2006 legislative session a bipartisan group of legislators from across southern Minnesota have announced the formation of a new legislative coalition. Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) announced the formation and the agenda of the “I-90 Group”, a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of legislators from Worthington to Winona.
“We have been meeting regularly as a group since August; not as senators and representatives; not as Republicans and Democrats; but as southern Minnesotans who care deeply about our region and the changes we have witnessed,” Gunther said. “Over months of meetings and discussion, we have concluded that we can best further our mission of enhancing economic growth and the vitality of southern Minnesota by working together.
Group leadership includes Rep. Gunther and Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) in the House, and Sen. Dave Senjem (R-Rochester) and Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) in the Senate.
The I-90 Group also released its legislative agenda for 2006, which includes:
* Supporting the request in the 2006 bonding bill for the existing bioscience corridor development, as well as additional support targeted toward agricultural related bioscience development for southern Minnesota.
* Supporting bonding for bridge projects throughout southern Minnesota.
* Establishing a new 10-ton road policy whereby all roads receiving state aid must be designated as 10-ton roadways, unless otherwise posted by the County.
* Establishing a new "Office of Entrepreneurial Development" within the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
* Supporting further alternative energy development initiatives in southern Minnesota.
* Supporting the fair treatment of agricultural land as it relates to local tax levies for school capital bonding referendums.
“We want to see those areas in southern Minnesota that are economically strong to continue to prosper, and we want those areas that are facing economic challenges to know that their legislators are working together to support their revitalization,” Gunther said. “To that end, we will continue to meet throughout the session to monitor our progress and to ensure that we are doing all we can for southern Minnesota.”
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