For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809
It's hard to believe, but we only have a little more than three weeks to go before our May 18th end-of-session deadline. We had our first Saturday session of the year this weekend, and we will be working throughout the next week to pass our remaining omnibus budget bills.
AT THE LEGISLATURE:
Transportation bill passed
On Tuesday the House voted on a bipartisan basis to approve part of our long-term transportation plan, the Road and Bridge Act of 2015. The GOP approach would invest more than $7 billion dollars in roads and bridges over the next 10 years without increasing taxes. As I talk to families in our community, most of the people I talk to want the legislature to pass a plan that addresses our roads and bridges, but doesn't take money out of their family budgets through a gas tax increase. It's my hope the Governor and the Senate will come around on our plan, or work with the House to find a compromise that prioritizes roads and bridges without the harmful effects of a gas tax increase.
On another transportation related note, my bill to fund the Highway 52/County Road 42 interchange repairs received an informational hearing in the House Transportation Committee this week. Dakota County Commissioner Nancy Schouweiler and Dakota County Physical Development Director Steve Mielke testified in support of the bill, which is an important project for our area, so I was glad to see it receive some much-needed attention and I am hopeful it will be included in an upcoming bonding bill.
K-12 Education bill passed
On Saturday the House passed our K-12 Education omnibus bill. The bill spends about $1 billion more than we're spending in the 2014-2015 biennium, about $157 million more than projected for the 2016-2017 biennium. I had several provisions included in the bill, including: my bill to reduce special education paperwork, my bill to repeal the PSEO gag rule, and my bill to increase funding for Reading Corps. WCCO featured the Minnesota Reading Corps recently to discuss its proven track record of success in helping Minnesota students learn to read. Watch that clip by clicking here.
It is also great to see about $30 million in increased funding for early learning scholarships, which are a proven tool to target resources at children who are most at risk of falling behind their peers in school. Early learning scholarships will help close the achievement gap, and are a much more targeted and affordable alternative to the universal Pre-K programs that the Governor is proposing. You can watch my floor speech by clicking here.
IN THE COMMUNITY:
Visit to Rosemount KinderCare
On Friday, April, 17th, I had the chance to visit KinderCare in Rosemount. The students welcomed me with a poster, and it was great to visit with students and the staff that work with some of our youngest learners. I was impressed by the high quality programs and the passion of the staff. It is clear that these children are in good hands and are thriving in their academic growth.
Math Fischer Memorial Scouting Breakfast
Before session on Tuesday, April 21st, I was able to attend the Math Fischer Memorial Scouting Breakfast. We heard from Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie about issues facing our youth that law enforcement is working on with them, such as drugs and texting while driving. This Breakfast is an annual event to raise necessary funds for the Boy Scouts and I was honored to participate.
Cedar Park Spring Clean Up
If you're interested in a volunteer opportunity, there will be a spring cleanup at the outdoor science lab next to Cedar Park Elementary to get it ready for spring. It's a family friendly even that will go for about four hours next Saturday from 10AM-2PM, but you are welcome to come for any part of the cleanup event. More details on their Facebook page here. https://www.facebook.com/events/1379276095734688/
Please continue to send me your thoughts and input as session comes to an end. You can email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-296-4306. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/annacwills.
Have a great week,
State Representative, District 57B
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