Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It’s already the end of September, and we’re enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful fall colors and weather. It also means our schools are back in full swing. I’ve been fortunate to take part in a few school events in our area over the last couple weeks.
The first was very exciting as I spent time with Pine River/Backus students who were able to speak with astronauts at the International Space Station via a live video chat. This was such an amazing experience for these learners to be able to ask questions about space, science, and the hard work necessary to be an astronaut. I may have been in more awe than the students; it was remarkable!
I also attended the grand opening of the expanded facilities at the King School in Deer River. The enhancements and community spaces look great, and I know the students, teachers, and parents are enjoying the upgrades.
The Northland Community School in Remer recently held a grand opening and community celebration of their own for a brand new school. I loved seeing the new facility, and am excited for the future as our local schools continue to improve.
I recently joined Senators Eichorn, Gazelka, and Utke for a tour and visit to Blandin Paper Company. Since I started in the legislature, I’ve worked closely with Blandin and Itasca County to pass legislation to “fix” their property tax dispute. It was great to hear how this – as well as reforms we made to the Sustainable Forest Incentive Act – were helping our communities as well as one of our primary local businesses. If you have a business and would like legislators to stop by for a tour, please let me know!
Yesterday, the House Capital Investment Committee came to our area to tour two different potential bonding projects. The first was the expansion/renovation project at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids. The goals of the collaborative project, titled the Kids Campus, include meeting the high demand for early childhood/daycare and providing quality youth activities for underserved students.
The second stop was in Cohasset at the site of the Tioga recreational area where legislators and staff had a great opportunity to get off the bus and hike the beautiful trails leading up to the Tioga overlook. Over the past four years, local outdoor enthusiasts have worked hard to develop an exciting new vision for this 460-acre natural playground near Pokegama Lake and now have a shovel-ready project looking for partial support from state bonding.
Tax Tour on Hold
Many of you have heard me announce a forthcoming meeting with the House Tax Committee, initially planned for October 3rd in Grand Rapids. Unfortunately, until there is definitive action by the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding the Governor’s line item veto of legislative funding, there is no budget for these types of outreach meetings beyond October 1st. I will let you know if the situation changes and we are able to reschedule.
Please Contact Me
If you haven’t seen me around the district and want to meet, please call or email my office to set up a time. I’ve enjoyed meeting lots of folks this summer and fall, and hope we can find a time to connect.
Enjoy the weekend,