Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Susie Merthan 651-296-2955

Posted: Feb 7 2013 4:43PM
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2013 Session Update

Dear neighbor,

We’re into the second month of the 2013-2014 legislative session and I wanted to provide an update as to what’s been happening at the Capitol.

State of the State Address

Last night, Governor Dayton addressed a joint convention of the House and Senate to deliver the State of the State address.  In his speech, the governor spoke of the need for a structurally balanced budget, investments in education and moving Minnesota forward. 

I appreciate the governor’s fresh approach to our state budget and priorities.  The status quo of recent years has left Minnesota with budget deficits and struggling middle class families and small businesses.  The Governor is proposing to balance the budget in a fair and responsible way without gimmicks, borrowing or spending shifts.

I am especially encouraged by the governor’s proposals to strengthen education.  Minnesota schools once led the nation, and with investments in early childhood education, K-12 after school programs and local colleges and universities, we can properly prepare our children for careers in today’s economy and move forward together.

­Minnesota is in Drought

In a series of meetings in the Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee, we heard of groundwater challenges and the growing drought in Minnesota.  Some Minnesota cities, like Worthington, are already out of water and are paying for water from other areas (Worthington is now using Iowa as a water source).  This is taking place in industrial agriculture areas statewide.

But the problem is local as all Twin Cities suburbs, including Woodbury, Maplewood, Oakdale and Landfall, currently draw their water from the Prairie du-Chien Jordan aquifer.  If we follow current water usage patterns, this aquifer will be dry in thirty years.  I am alarmed by this challenge but hope that we can take steps to address this growing problem.

Student Credit Union at Tartan High School

I recently met with representatives from local credit unions who informed me that the Postal Credit Union has partnered with Tartan High School for their first student-run PCU Student Credit Branch.  The branch opened January 22, 2013 in Tartan High School and is a new approach to business and financial education.

The student-run business will allow teachers and students to perform a variety of financial transactions including deposits, opening accounts and taking loan applications.  The benefits from this type of real-world work experience are endless, as students will learn about careers in the banking industry and also have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the benefits of saving, budgeting and establishing a good credit history before leaving high school.

As the program takes off, there is opportunity to put this kind of real-world learning in other area schools and I hope that we can make this happen for all of our local schools.

­Minnesota Environmental Partnership Meeting at Woodbury Library

Please join Senator Susan Kent, Andrea Kieffer (invited) and I to discuss solar energy, clean water, public transit and other issues affecting Minnesota’s outdoors and environment.  The meeting will take place this Saturday, February 9, at 10:00 am at the Woodbury Library.  I hope to see you there!

Please contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on any issue.  I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-7807 or by email at rep.joann.ward@house.mn.



JoAnn Ward

State Representative

Maplewood, Woodbury, Oakdale and Landfall

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