The 2016 Supplemental Budget Bill included $35 million for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, which funds the expansion of broadband access to unserved and underserved parts of the state. Click through to read more highlights of this year’s new laws.
I was proud to vote in favor of the 2016 Bonding Bill last week, but it unfortunately did not pass due to Republican partisan politics being placed before constituent needs. Since last week’s disappointing vote, I’ve tried to make sense of why anyone would vote against a bill that would create nearly 40,000 jobs and invests in critical transportation projects, clean water and wastewater infrastructure projects, and colleges and universities, among other things. So far, I’ve come up with nothing – other than partisan politics – which leads me to believe there’s no real reason to oppose this bill.
The recently released 2016 Senate bonding bill is good news for Minnesota and includes needed investments in our part of the state. Bonding is a critical component of what we do at the state legislature. The state owns billions of dollars’ worth of property and real estate and it is the state’s responsibility to take care of it. The 2016 bonding bill is a $1.5 billion investment in our future, will fund several critical projects in our communities, is a true economic development tool, and will create more than 40,000 jobs.
The final week of April has been a busy one for the Minnesota Legislature. On Thursday, after hours of testimony, the Senate passed its $489 million budget bill. This bill addresses key investments in all budget areas – from education, transportation, health and human services, public safety and more. I am proud to say I’ve worked hard on many aspects of this bill and can safely say this bill will do a lot of good for the people of Minnesota.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article on a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) analysis of air monitoring data, which has confirmed lead levels in North Minneapolis are 10 times higher than other locations. MPCA regulators say they’re concerned and need to investigate this further. Personally, I’m incredibly disturbed by this news.
We’re lucky to live in a corner of the state that has strong and thriving companies who offer good-paying jobs to the hardy people of northern Minnesota. Companies like Polaris, Artic Cat, Marvin Windows, DigiKey, Central Boiler and countless others have found a strong foundation in towns that dot the far northwest corner of our state. Sometimes, living so far away from the population centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, some of us may start to think, ‘what is the legislature doing for people like us?’