I hope you’re enjoying fall and are soaking in the changing colors. Be sure to check the Minnesota DNR’s Fall Color Finder tool for a map of locations reaching peak colors and dispatches from Minnesota state parks.
I’m pleased to see Paul Bunyan Communications’ broadband project here in Koochiching County in full swing. This expansion is a result of the public/private partnership from the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program. Everyone deserves reliable internet access no matter where they live, and I’m proud to have been the chief author for this important funding in the House.
This week, it was an honor to welcome the House Capital Investment Committee to northern Minnesota. Members of that committee are touring the whole state to visit sites of proposed public infrastructure improvements with the goal of passing a strong bonding bill in 2022. Minnesota is a vast state, and its great legislators get this opportunity to check out all our state has to offer and see projects worthy of our investment
While up here, my colleagues visited the Silver Bay Multimodal Trailhead Center, Tettegouche State Park, Vermilion Community College, the International Wolf Center in Ely, and Vermillion State Park, along with many other sites across the Iron Range, in Duluth, and other locations north of the Twin Cities.
Our assets like colleges and universities, public safety facilities, bridges, park infrastructure, water treatment plants, community centers, agency offices and more across the state are all aging. Our region has numerous opportunities for investments that will help create economic opportunity, create good-paying construction jobs, and help strengthen our overall way of life. I hope we can come together at the State Capitol to deliver a sizable public infrastructure package this coming session.
The past 18 months have been incredibly challenging for students, businesses, families, and workers. Despite our difficulties though, we know Minnesotans are resilient, and working together, we have the capacity to create a brighter future for everyone in our state.
To that end, my House colleagues and I are looking for input from folks across the state. Please share your thoughts by taking the 2021 Minnesota Values Project Survey. We’re looking to learn more about what’s going well for you and your family, as well as your hopes, roadblocks, and fears. It’s a short survey, only four questions, and will help guide our work at the Capitol to both address our short-term needs and build a long-term pathway for success. I hope viewpoints from our region will be well-represented in the survey. We deeply value your feedback.
The 2021 Minnesota Firearms Deer Season is less than one month away, starting November 6. Like many of you, this is one of my favorite times of the year and I can’t wait to get up in the deer stand. As we look ahead to the deer opening, the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease continues to threaten our wild white-tail deer population. Please be aware of some protocols, including new mandatory testing in CWD management zones and movement restrictions. Not only do we cherish our deer hunting traditions in Minnesota, it’s also a huge economic driver, with all combined deer hunting activity contributing about $1.3 billion to our state economy. At the Capitol, we continue to push for enhanced reforms to cervid farms to prevent CWD from transferring from farmed deer to wild deer. Meanwhile, we all have to do our part to help stop CWD from spreading and to protect our wild deer population.
I hope everyone has a successful and safe hunt this fall!
Recently, the CDC recommended booster shots for many of those who have received the Pfizer version of the COVID-19 vaccine. With the effectiveness of the vaccine decreasing over time, the booster will help extend the protection of those who received this variety of shot. For those who received the vaccine at least six months ago, groups eligible for a booster include those who:
Boosters are not yet available for those who received the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Visit the Minnesota Vaccine Locator for a location to receive either your booster or initial vaccine series. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free. If you haven’t yet, please get your vaccine so we can protect our communities against further spread of the virus and put this pandemic behind us.
Don’t hesitate to contact me with your feedback and ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you.