Sen. Simonson statement on completed special session

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With a $1.65 billion surplus, DFL legislators worked to invest in Minnesota’s values and what has made Minnesota’s economy strong in order to build a better future for everyone. Minnesotans expect the legislature to get their work done and done on time. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the legislature was forced into a special session lasting four days. State Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) released the following statement:

“A budget is a reflection of values, and the Republican budget we have passed does not reflect Duluth and Minnesota values. I do not see a budget as numbers, but as people, whose lives are impacted daily by decisions we make. This budget includes dramatic cuts to health and human services programs, it underfunds our K-12 schools, and it fails to provide a dedicated source of funding for transportation needs. A silver lining for Duluth is a number of provisions, including important bonding projects that we have spent years advocating for.”

“All together the Duluth delegation secured over $82 million dollars in funding for critical Duluth projects and initiatives. These investments will create jobs – and they will promote economic development. I am proud of the work that Representative Olson, Representative Schultz, and myself have accomplished in a very challenging session.”

The following are provision that were passed that have a positive impact for Duluth:

Bonding:

  • $27 Million – University of Minnesota Duluth – Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building
  • $24 Million – St. Louis River Clean-up Project
  • A provision to allow funding for the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District
  • Funding necessary for Phase 1 of the Duluth Steam Plant project – $15 Million

Taxes

  • TIF allowance for the Duluth Port Authority
  • A provision to support the Duluth Heritage Sports Center
  • A boundary adjustment for the St. Louis River Corridor

Transportation

  • $6 Million for Construction projects at both the Duluth International Airport and Sky Harbor Airport

Education

  • Funding need to bring the STARBASE Minnesota program to Duluth, to provide 4th and 6th graders with STEM education opportunities
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Erik Simonson represents District 7 in northeastern Minnesota.

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