Happy Friday! Before we get to this week's legislative news, here are a few photos from some of the events I mentioned in last week's update.
Speaking at the commencement ceremony for the Butterfield-Odin High School Class of 2018. It was an honor to address the graduates and I enjoyed being back in my hometown.
With my kids at the Med-City Marathon. It would have been my 23rd consecutive Med-City Marathon, but the race directors decided to limit the course to a half marathon because of the heat. Nonetheless, it was a fun event and one I am glad to have the opportunity to continue taking part in.
I am pleased to report that Wednesday morning Governor Dayton signed into law the bonding bill that was passed by the legislature at the end of session. This geographically balanced package features $825 million in general obligation bonds to be used to fund construction projects statewide, such as roads and bridges and water infrastructure.
The bonding bill’s enactment is a big win for our communities and the Rochester area. Included in the package is legislation I authored this year to provide nearly $23 million for the desperately needed reconstruction of Plaza and Memorial Halls at Rochester Community and Technical College. The funding will be a great boost for RCTC, as the school has encountered serious issues and incurred significant costs as a result of the building’s deterioration.
In addition, the bill contains a measure I authored to provide the $2.5 million necessary for the completion of the Chester Woods state trail from Eyota to Rochester. This project has been in the works for over two decades, so I am thrilled that the funding for its completion is finally on its way. I worked hard to help get this project across the finish line this year, and I am proud to have played a role in securing these dollars.
Another important project for our area that was enacted Wednesday is funding to expand a stretch of highway 14 to four lanes. This expansion is long overdue, and these new resources will benefit southern Minnesota's economy by improving travel times, access, and travel capacity.
Also included in the bill is $25 million for critical school safety building upgrades – a top priority of House Republicans during the 2018 legislative session. In the wake of the governor’s veto of school safety funding last week, these dollars are especially important to our schools’ efforts to improve student safety. An additional highlight of the package is the $32 million for the construction of three new veterans homes and renovation of existing homes around the state.
While I remain frustrated by the governor’s vetoes of two very good bills last week, Wednesday’s approval of the bonding bill is great news for Minnesota. The bill reflects Minnesotans’ priorities, as it respects taxpayers, will help boost job creation, and focuses on local infrastructure needs. I am eager to see the positive impact it will have on our community and others around the state in the years to come.
Please Contact Me
If you ever have any questions or concerns on any matter surrounding the legislature or state government, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear from you and can be reached at 651-296-4378 or email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,