Friday was the third committee deadline, which is the deadline for major finance and appropriation bills to be approved by committees. Accordingly, last week we were focused primarily on committee work as omnibus finance bills were assembled and given approval by their respective committees. These bills will be coming to the House floor in the coming weeks where they will be voted on by the House as a whole.
The omnibus bills collectively contain many critically important provisions, such as funding for roads and bridges, school safety improvements, and key policy reforms. Among these important provisions is one to prevent a 7 percent wage cut for the people caring for Minnesota’s disabled community. This is included in the Health and Human Services omnibus bill. This provision invests money through grants to ensure providers don’t see their wages fall this summer as a result of cuts in federal aid. Rural Minnesota is currently experiencing an urgent crisis for staff to care for disabled individuals, resulting in facilities being closed and a lack of care accessibility. This provision will help ensure care providers are paid competitive wages and allow people to have access to the care and facilities they need. This issue has been one of my highest priorities this session, as our area has not been an exception to this crisis. I am pleased to see that the matter is addressed in this bill, and I will continue to be a strong advocate in support of it in the weeks ahead.
Two bills I am authoring this year were also included in committees’ omnibus bills. My bill to provide additional funding for Project Legacy was included in the Health and Human Services omnibus bill. Project Legacy is an area non-profit which helps underprivileged young adults complete their education, find jobs, and take the next step in their careers. My bill would provide Project Legacy with a onetime grant of $400,000 to be used to further carry out their important work in our area.
The other is my bill to provide funding for the Rochester International Airport to make key safety improvements by acquiring and installing an upgraded landing system. This project would expand capability for aircrafts to land during low visibility weather conditions and is critical in ensuring safe landings. In addition, the Rochester International Airport is integral to southeastern Minnesota’s economic prosperity as well as to the services provided at the Mayo Clinic to patients from around the world.
This has been included in the Transportation omnibus bill and would provide $2 million of the $4.5 million necessary to complete the upgrades. I am hopeful the additional funding will be included in this year’s Capital Investment bill, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Dairy Day at the Capitol
Thank you to the folks from the Minnesota Milk Producers Association for stopping by on Dairy Day at the Capitol to discuss the important issues facing dairy farmers around the state.
Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to contact me on legislative issues so far this session. Hearing from my constituents allows me to best represent our communities, and I greatly appreciate your feedback and input. Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts on the issues that will be coming before me in the weeks ahead. You can reach me via phone at (651) 296-4378 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,