I trust you are enjoying the nicer-than-average weather for this time of year! While this week was shortened due to House being closed Monday in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this week was nevertheless busy at the Capitol.
MARCH FOR LIFE RALLY
Hundreds of people attended this year’s Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life March for Life rally (above) at the Capital. I am a strong supporter of life from conception to natural death and I was pleased to see all the participation as pro-life advocates spoke at the Capitol and met with legislators.
UPDATE ON LOCAL BILLS
I requested committee hearings for two bills I have introduced as the chief House author to benefit our area. As I mentioned in last week's email update, HF 175 will help our local school districts by helping to reduce the current funding disparity between metro vs. rural school districts. HF 201 adds a third lane to Interstate 94 between Saint Michael and Albertville. I’m confident my bills will get committee hearings scheduled soon and I will update you as news becomes available.
GOOD INFO IN COMMITTEES
My committee meetings early this session have been predominantly informational in nature as various departments and groups are providing testimony detailing their organizational structure, roles, and key priorities this year. For example:
In the Public Safety Committee we heard from the Department of Corrections and the Judicial Branch, which outlined their function and roles. In the Education Policy Committee, advocates for special education, charter schools and others provided background and their priorities. In the Transportation Committee, we heard from the Minneapolis and Duluth Port Authority groups. In the Mining/Outdoors Recreation Committee, we were provided with presentations regarding mining operations including samples of materials mined in northern Minnesota. Also in Mining/Outdoors Recreation there was an informational hearing regarding wolves and the recent court decision to place wolves back onto the endangered species list.
One bill receiving urgency in the House provides flood relief to 47 counties – including Wright – and three Indian reservations following severe statewide damage storms caused last June and July. The bill provides $17 million in state funding to match over $50 million in federal funding for recovery efforts in response to last summer’s flooding.
Many people in our area are emailing me, calling me, and stopping by to visit me, including Heidi Haley-Franklin from Saint Michael on Alzheimer’s Association’s Day at the Capitol, and Wright County Commissioner Michael Potter (above) to discuss transportation and Internet data infrastructure priorities to position us for business economic growth in the coming years.
As always, I value your feedback. Please connect with me and let me know what’s on your mind to help me serve you the best I can.
Thank you and enjoy your weekend!