The start of a new school year is right around the corner as students, teachers, and parents are preparing for another year of learning and growth. While state education policy is probably not on the minds of most—parents and educators should be pleased with the investments and reforms we enacted that will work to ensure that every child in Minnesota has the opportunity to receive a world-class education.
Among the reforms are fewer mandated tests which will increase classroom learning time, as well as improved access to quality educators by streamlining out-of-state teacher licensure reciprocity. For Greater Minnesota schools like ours, the latter reform could help reverse the growing shortage of educators who teach important subject areas like science, math, and special education.
Ultimately, education funding remains the largest portion of our state’s budget and I am proud of the reforms we made that will help ensure that this money is spent in the most efficient and useful way possible.
Update on Avian Flu Recovery
On Tuesday, I attended a joint hearing of the House Agricultural Finance and Policy Committees. At the hearing, poultry producers and various state agency personnel provided updates about the current status of the crisis and the state’s response to the declared state of emergency.
Minnesota continues to recover from this devastating outbreak, thanks to the hard work of farmers, producers, and officials and I am confident that we are ready to respond if such a crisis were to arise again in the future.
House Capital Investment Tour Visits Faribault
On Thursday, the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee, also commonly referred to as the “bonding” committee, toured a handful of local bike trails here in Faribault.
I attended the tour and took part in the presentation to committee members from officials with the Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Faribault Chamber of Commerce.
The project proposal would connect the Mill Towns Trail with the Northern Links Trail and provide a safe and more modern bike trail for residents to use. This is a project that would not only provide upgraded trails for riders, it would also give an economic jolt to businesses around at the trail.
Thanks to Chair Torkelson and members for visiting our community!
Lifeline Awareness Week
Next week is “Lifeline Awareness Week”. Lifeline awareness week exists to spread the word about Minnesota’s Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) and Lifeline. These programs help provide access to phone service for people who otherwise may not be able to afford it. Lifeline discounts $9.25 off the monthly landline bill while TAP provides an additional $3.50 monthly discount.
If you or someone you know may need assistance in paying for this basic service, please visit this website for more information www.lifeline.gov.
Staying in Touch and an Invitation to an Event
I am hosting another “Office Hours” event tomorrow, Saturday, at Bernie’s Grill in Faribault. The event is set to begin at 9:00 am and is a great opportunity for you to come by, have some breakfast, and chat about issues that concern you. I strongly encourage you to attend if you are available!
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you or your family in an issues related to state government. It is an honor and privilege to serve you!