Hello, friends! The 2020 legislative session has begun, and I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent activities here at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Miller Time tonight @7:00 pm
Join me this evening as I begin the new session with a preview on my YouTube Live stream of Miller Time. I will also answer questions posted by viewers like you! You can join me by easily clicking on the link: Miller Time
The 2020 legislative session began at noon on Tuesday, February 11th. There will be a lot of exciting issues that will come before us over the next several weeks. We are one of only two divided legislatures in the country. Our Senate is Republican, and our House is Democrat. As such, this offers us a rare opportunity to show the rest of the nation how we can work together. As always, I am always eager to hear from my constituents on any particular issue. Feel free to contact me.
The main focus of the 2020 legislative session will center on the bonding bill. Bonding is an important part of our state’s financial system. Responsible borrowing for critical infrastructure can certainly benefit Minnesotans. However, any tool can become dangerous if it is misused. Governor Walz has proposed bonding an exorbitant $2 billion dollars. Many of the Governor’s projects are not necessary and remain financially irresponsible.
For example, Governor Walz has proposed bonding over $8 million dollars to restore an opera house, and he has also proposed bonding $10 million to expand an arts center. This is not responsible financing. Instead, bonding projects should focus on addressing necessary infrastructure needs for cities and counties like roads, bridges, and sewers.
I have introduced a new bonding proposal this year. My bonding project is to repair and expand the hydroelectric generating facility in Granite Falls, MN. Energy efficiency and accessibility is certainly a critical need that must be met.
In the Minnesota House of Representatives, I serve on the Public Safety Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the Veterans Affairs Committee.
One of the bills I expect to hear as a member of the Public Safety Committee is HF 1237. This bill, authored by Rep. Ryan Winkler, is designed to outlaw private prisons in Minnesota. I intend to vigorously oppose this bill. Additionally, I have authored HF 272 which appropriates money to refurbish and reopen the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. Before its closure, the Appleton prison provided many good paying jobs to nearby residents. Moreover, reopening the Appleton prison will alleviate the current overcrowding in Minnesota’s publicly operated prisons.
If you visit the Capitol in St. Paul, please drop by and say hello! If you know a date you will be in town, please call or email my Legislative Assistant, Luke, and he will get you on the calendar. His number is 651-296-9183 or Luke.Sprinkel@house.mn Call me anytime with questions or concerns. God bless and have a great week!