St. Paul, MN – “My district’s always the first priority,” Sen. Matt Little, DFL-Lakeville, replied when asked which bills topped his legislative wish-list, “The first three bills I’m introducing today are about seniors, jobs, and transportation; all three are high priorities for people in the Lakeville and Farmington area.”
The Metro Mobility bill (SF71) extends transportation services to the Lakeville area for seniors and people with disabilities. This gap in service, crucial for many of Lakeville’s over 5,000 seniors, means they effectively have no other way to attend doctors’ appointments, buy groceries, or pick up medicine. So crucial, in fact, that the City of Lakeville has also named expanding Metro Mobility one of its top legislative priorities.
“I’ve received mail about this for years,” Sen. Little noted, “One resident wrote that her husband suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and has to pay $90-100 per trip to a private service for transportation to medical appointments. Their family can’t afford that. Who can? No one should be forced to pay those prices just to live their lives.”
The second bill (SF69) grants $75,000 to the Lakeville Chamber of Commerce to create a Lakeville Works Internship Program. The one-time grant would fund a position creating internship opportunities for high school students to learn crucial job skills. Once the first-year grant is completed, schools, businesses and nonprofits would administer the system and continue the partnerships made possible by the Legislative grant.
“High school students are eager to learn real world skills,” Little commented, “and we have many talented business and nonprofit leaders willing to share their knowledge and experiences. It’s a great way to sustain a strong local economy, build a skilled labor force, and give students the chance for mentoring and hands-on learning.”
The third bill (SF70) studies expanding the existing Park and Ride structure on Kenrick Ave. “The numbers are pretty hard to argue with, the Kenrick Park and Ride is nearing capacity,” Sen. Little noted, “Many people from Farmington, Lakeville and farther south use it every day. If we want to continue growing our businesses, then our transportation system must meet those demands. But, studying the problem first is the best way to make sure we don’t waste anyone’s tax dollars.”
Are those the Senator’s only bills for 2019? “Oh no, we won’t stop there,” Little laughed, eager to lay out a broader agenda too, “In coming weeks, we’ll have several other local bills; and major legislation helping the entire state, but we always start with the needs of people in the district.”