Dear Granite City Neighbors,
It’s an honor to represent you and our community in the Minnesota House of Representatives. This year, much of our focus was on passing a state budget, and as one of the only divided state governments in the country, we were able to do so with a bipartisan compromise. I’m proud to have joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring a budget that funds education, health care, transportation, and more back to St. Cloud.
Putting Northstar on the Right Track
The people of Central Minnesota Spoke, and the Legislature listened. I’m extremely excited that my bipartisan legislation to analyze extending Northstar to St. Cloud was part of the final budget. This funding gives the Minnesota Department of Transportation the tools it will need to make sure that an extension of Northstar is done in a prudent and responsible manner. After years of inaction, we’re finally getting on the right track. Thanks to the tireless work of advocates in our community, we’re one step closer in the #FinishNorthstar movement!
Investments in Education
Minnesota’s students deserve access to a world-class education, regardless of zip code. Our budget increases funding for Minnesota’s public school students by 2 percent for each of the next two years. It also addresses our special education shortfall, filling in a void left by the federal government, with an investment of $90 million. We were also able to extend opportunities for voluntary pre-kindergarten while expanding early learning scholarships, helping our youngest learners start their education journeys with a solid foundation.
From early childhood education all the way to higher learning, our Higher Education budget takes on college affordability at Minnesota's colleges and universities, including additional funding for St. Cloud State and St. Cloud Tech. We're also looking after the wellbeing of our students by increasing our investments in student mental health and food access programs."
Protecting Health Care
The funding source for Minnesota’s Health Care Access Fund was set to expire this year. This fund, created over a generation ago in a bipartisan manner, provides access to more than one million Minnesotans to programs like MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance. Our compromise budget maintains this funding into the future, and protects other forms of coverage like basic dental and vision care for low-income Minnesotans.
Supporting Working Families
Our budget includes some of the toughest wage theft prevention measures in the country, ensuring that employees are receiving an hour’s pay for an hour’s work, and holding accountable those who would cheat workers of their wages. We’re also taking on the child care crisis in our state by investing in grants to ensure that accessible, affordable child care options are available all over Minnesota.
Stay In Touch!
There’s more work to be done to move Minnesota forward, and until the Legislature reconvenes on February 11, 2020, I’ll be back home working with you to find solutions. Please feel free to call me at (651) 296-6612, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments, or solutions to improve Minnesota together.
Rep. Dan Wolgamott