ST. PAUL, Minn. – The 2014 legislative session came to a close this past Friday, May 16, the first time the legislature has finished early in many years. In a biennium many are calling ‘the most productive in a generation,’ the 2014 Session’s theme was ‘giving back to Minnesotans.’ The DFL-led legislature and Governor ended the session by cutting $550 million in taxes for more than 1 million Minnesotans and businesses. For the first time in 13 years the Legislature increased the State Budget Reserve, adding $150 million into a ‘rainy day fund.’ In this bonding session the state invested over $1 billion in infrastructure improvements, which will create thousands of jobs and continue Minnesota’s strong economic growth, while completing needed infrastructure projects.
The bonding bill which invests heavily in business and economic development, higher education, transportation and public infrastructure was passed on the very last day of session. Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids) spent months advocating on behalf of several projects that were ultimately funded in the final bonding bill.
“Having completed a full biennium as a first-term State Senator – I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished. In particular, I’m thrilled the bonding bill includes significant dollars that are headed to Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids as well as the entire Northwest Suburbs. These are important projects that will improve the quality of life in our communities,” said Sen. Hoffman.
The nearly 80-year-old Elm Creek Dam at the Mill Pond project in Champlin was granted the full $3 million request. The equally high-profile Highway 10 interchange project was also fully funded
“The Elm Creek Dam is the first Champlin bonding project funded by the state, and I am very pleased we were able to deliver,” said Hoffman. He added, “The $8 million allocated to the Highway 10 project is essential for economic development in the area and will solve a major public safety issue on this ‘gateway to the north’ highway.”
Other projects that received funding in the bonding bill include the Brooklyn Park Armory, which was granted $1.244 million to begin renovations. The Minnesota Historical Society-run Oliver H. Kelley Farm – a working 1860’s farm, was also granted its full request of $10.562 million.
“I’m so grateful to both the Senate and House bonding committees for visiting these projects and for really understanding the great need in our community for these repairs. The Committee had an up-hill battle in terms of choosing from the more than $3 billion worth of projects, and the fact that so many of our projects received funding is a real testament to their importance,” said Sen. Hoffman.
You can contact Sen. Hoffman at Sen.John.Hoffman@senate.mn or by calling his office at (651) 296-4154.