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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rod Hamilton (R)

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Monday, June 15, 2015

ST. PAUL – A one day special session has been concluded by the Minnesota Legislature, and with it comes good news for schools, agriculture, and all of southwestern Minnesota according to State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake).

"The governor, along with House and Senate leadership, were able to settle their differences and come to an agreement on outstanding budget issues," Hamilton said. "I'm happy to report that during that time we were able to convince leaders to allocate more money to the Lewis and Clark water project as well as raise awareness of the avian flu outbreak and the need to stay ahead of emerging diseases that could impact our poultry flocks and livestock."

Hamilton said he was most pleased that $19 million was allocated to Lewis and Clark in a capital investment proposal, which will be used to continue building a pipeline that will bring clean water to southwestern Minnesota residents.

The bonding bill also included more than $26 million for a poultry testing laboratory in Willmar and a veterinary isolation facility in St. Paul. Hamilton, who chairs the Minnesota House Agriculture Finance Committee, said these facilities will be critical in helping our state address future diseases that are spread among animals.

The legislature also approved spending bills relating to environment and agriculture – including $23 million to help Minnesota battle the avian flu, jobs and energy, and K-12 Education.

"Our schools should be very pleased with this proposal as it includes $1.4 billion in new money when compared to the last budget cycle," Hamilton said. "It also includes a number of reforms which will help ensure that every child, regardless of where they live, will receive a world-class education."