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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Friday, April 29, 2016

ST. PAUL – On seven occasions during a recent debate on a jobs and economic development funding proposal, Minnesota House Democrats attempted to remove needed funds that would complete the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System project.


State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) said he was bewildered by the repeated maneuver.


“It was ironic that the day after Luverne lifts its water ban, House Democrats solely attempted to stop the Lewis and Clark project from progressing,” Schomacker said. “I don't have time for partisan finger pointing, but in a case like this there is no other explanation. On each of the recorded votes to defund our Lewis and Clark project, the votes were grossly along partisan lines.


The funding proposal Schomacker references would complete the water pipeline to Magnolia, extend it to the Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water System connection near Adrian and establish a connection in Worthington.


Schomacker said House Democrats wanted to use Lewis and Clark money for a variety of different reasons, including business development centers that can be used in the metro area and racial disparity funds exclusively for Ramsey County. During the floor debate, one Democratic lawmaker even said: “We’ve already been more than generous to rural Minnesota, even when it comes to water.”


Schomaker said House Republicans voted down each and every Democratic attempt to leave the Lewis and Clark water project high and dry.


“I’m at a loss as to why House Democrats attempted taking away the dollars that finally complete the Lewis and Clark project,” Schomacker said. “This has long been a priority of Governor Dayton and I have always been grateful for his support and the support of many within the Legislature. Obviously, I’m pleased that my Republican colleagues held strong and prioritized a reliable water pipeline for southwestern Minnesota. I look forward to seeing the final funding allocation for Lewis and Clark made later this year.”