Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you’ve been able to spend some time outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures and beautiful spring weather we’ve been having.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit down and meet with Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman. Speaker Hortman also represents a north metro district, so it was good to get to know each other better and discuss issues facing our communities. I enjoyed chatting with her and look forward to continuing to work with her on transportation and other issues important to our area and Minnesota as a whole.
As we’re wrapping up another busy week at the Capitol, here’s an update with some news from the legislature.
Governor Visits Anoka
Last week, Governor Walz visited Anoka to push for a bridge over the Highway 47/Ferry Street railroad crossing. I'm pleased the governor understands the importance of this overpass and I really appreciate him taking the time to come up to my neighborhood.
As I’ve shared with you previously, I’m authoring legislation this year to provide funding to construct a bridge at this intersection. I’ve been working hard with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this bill and, on Wednesday, I presented my bill to the House Capital Investment committee.
Testifying on my bill alongside Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look.
The Highway 47/Ferry Street railroad crossing is one of the most dangerous intersections in the state. This overpass would allow for safer travel and minimize dangers at the intersection. It would improve safety for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and trains, while also reducing emergency responder times.
It’s also an extremely busy intersection as it sees more than 18,000 vehicles and up to 80 trains per day. An overpass would improve regional mobility by allowing for easier and faster travel through this intersection when trains come through. This is especially important because of the heavy travel that accompanies nearby businesses and the Anoka-Hennepin school district building.
Nonetheless, during the governor’s visit, he also reiterated his repeated calls for a 20 cent per gallon gas tax increase. Such a large tax hike is unnecessary and a proposal that I cannot support. Funding this project – and all of our road and bridge projects – does not require increasing gas taxes or other fees. Instead, it can be funded through other Republican-backed options like using auto parts sales tax revenue (that the state is already collecting) strictly for transportation funding. In addition, by focusing spending on Minnesotans’ priorities, past Republican-led legislatures have been able to make significant investments in roads and bridges without burdening Minnesotans with a gas tax hike.
It was awesome having Pastor Steve Perkins from Northgate Church in Ramsey give the opening prayer before the House floor session on Monday.
Please Contact Me
Please feel free to contact me anytime to share questions or concerns you have on any legislative matter. I can best be reached by phone at 651-296-1729 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.