These questions were asked by the Sun-Post Newspaper at the end of the 2006 Legislative Session:
Did any bills you authored survive the session?
Yes. Several pieces of legislation passed this year that I either co-authored or authored either passed or were included in larger bills. I made sure a provision defining blindness, as a disability was included in the education bill. I introduced a provision included in this year's bonding bill for flood control along Basset Creek in Golden Valley. Also included in the bonding bill is a bill I co-authored for repairing the railroad bridge in Golden Valley. A bill I co-authored will create a task force to make a recommendation to improve historic victory memorial drive.
I was a co-author to reform the makeup of the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR) to include citizens and rename the Legislative and Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). I also supported a $15 million appropriation to the U of M/Mayo Biosciences partnership.
What legislation will benefit the northwest suburbs?
In addition to the Basset Creek flood control and Golden Valley Railroad Bridge projects, many bills benefit the northwest suburbs. I served on the conference committee that worked out the final compromise allowing North Memorial and Fairview to begin construction on the Maple Grove Hospital. The bonding bill will have a huge impact for the Northwest suburbs with the final $60 million for the Northstar Commuter Rail Line and $350,000 for a business and technology center for North Hennepin Community College. We also passed a new eminent domain law. The bill balances economic development needs with property owners' rights.
What is the one accomplishment of which you are most proud this session?
While there are many things to be proud of this session, the bipartisan agreement on reducing mercury emissions stands out. The law cuts toxic mercury emissions by 90% at the state's six largest coal-burning power plants by 2015. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and was signed into law. This agreement shows that when people compromise, good policy can be made.