Senator Hauschild Presents Package of Increases to Local Aid and Emergency funding for rural Minnesota Emergency Medical Services in Senate Taxes Committee 

[SAINT PAUL, MN] — In the Senate Taxes Committee Wednesday, Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown) presented four bills addressing inequities in state funding aids for rural communities and townships, and as well as immediate, emergency funding for the crisis facing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in rural Minnesota. 

“Our rural communities have been hit hard by the effects of inflation and inaction at the federal level when it comes to delivering core services, whether it’s maintaining infrastructure or providing lifesaving emergency medical services,” said Sen. Hauschild. “Instead of waiting for a solution from Washington, Minnesota can step up and deliver solutions that will make an impact immediately to ensure that no community is left behind.”

Joined by a wide range of local officials from Northeastern Minnesota, Senator Hauschild presented three bills increasing state aid for key state funding programs. The first, Senate File 4247, links Local Government Aid and County Program Aid to inflation, a necessary step in ensuring the purchasing power of local budgets is maintained without passing property tax increases onto residents. The second, Senate File 3757, increases Town Aid for the first time since the program’s inception in 2014 delivering an additional $1.5 million for townships across the state. The third, SF 4422, increases funding for the newly established Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Aid program to $16 million a year, a $4 million increase to help the 88 SWCD districts across the state fulfill their soil and water conservation programs. 

“Together these programs provide essential funding to helping the unique challenges facing our rural communities, but they haven’t kept up with the high rate of inflation in recent years,” said Sen. Hauschild. “By increasing aid to these programs, we can not only make up for these effects, but ensure long-term and equitable funding that will guarantee stability for our rural communities.”

The final bill, SF 3886, provides $120 million in one-time funding for rural EMS, one part of the legislature’s efforts this year in addressing the growing financial crisis impacting rural communities. As a member of the recently established Emergency Medical Services Task Force, Senator Hauschild has heard firsthand from community members, local officials, and EMS workers throughout the state about the need for urgent action on this crisis.

“Reliable EMS services are not a luxury but a necessity for hundreds of thousand of Minnesotans, but low funding for these services have created a crisis,” added Sen. Hauschild. “We must create a sustainable long-term solution, but we must also urgently address this immediate need. This is a life or death issue for thousands of people and communities throughout Minnesota, and this funding will make a difference in delivering lifesaving care.”

All four bills were laid over for possible inclusion in a future Tax Omnibus Bill. 

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Senator Grant Hauschild represents Senate District 3 – the Arrowhead, Iron Range, and Northland. He is vice chair of the Labor Committee, and serves on the Education Policy Committee, Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee, and Taxes Committee.

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