I enjoyed meeting with people from our district and beyond on Construction Trade Day on the Hill.
The Legislature has returned to the Capitol this week after taking a brief recess. In addition to spending the Easter holiday with my family, some extra time at home also allowed me to attend various local functions and meet with constituents to talk about a variety of issues.
- It was an honor to attend a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the veterans home in Fergus Falls. This is a great facility that serves as a model for what others aspire to be. In recent years increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and state veterans homes and also provided funding to study unmet mental health needs for veterans.
- Members of the business community shared with me information regarding changes and expansion of commerce in our region. While there is more work to be done, I am proud that because of legislation we passed in 2017, every Minnesota small-business owner saw relief from an “extra” business tax.
- I attended a meeting related to mental health and the shortage of services many people face. We are fortunate to have Lakeland and others in our area doing very good work, but mental health treatment remains a concern. The House is working on a variety of mental health proposals, so the input I received at the meeting will be helpful as we examine legislation this session.
- Another meeting I attended pertained to child care as a regional facility is built in Battle Lake. I received an update on this project and it is impressive to see what is taking place. This is a model for others to follow in that it is a group of local/regional people who saw a need and have responded. We have a real shortage of child care options in Greater Minnesota and this facility (which is scheduled for an April 21 groundbreaking) will be a very valuable resource for our region.
Thanks to Bethel students for coming to the Capitol this week to discuss higher education issues.
At the Capitol, earlier this week I attended an event at the Capitol where Bethel students were on hand to share their successes related to the state grant program and the BUILD program. Education plays a significant role in our lives and Bethel has been a leader in accommodating students who may otherwise not have had post-secondary opportunities. Bethel’s third class of BUILD students will be graduating in less than two months and it is so gratifying to see them find success. Hats off to the folks at Bethel who have put available resources to such good use. Click here for more about BUILD.
On a final note, I was a guest on this week’s edition of Almanac at the Capitol, filmed in the House gallery. I was invited to provide some of my perspective on higher education issues as chairman of that House committee. If you didn’t catch that program live on TPT, you can click here for the video.