I believe I could write this week's update about the weather and leave everyone feeling joyful. I am sure I will hear rakes and leaf blowers this weekend as people start to clean up the yards. I did notice the ice coming off lakes this week on my way home from St. Paul, and the Mississippi River in Little Falls is starting to open up. Happy Spring, and don't forget to set your clocks ahead on Sunday.
Early Childhood Education Legislation
As you know, assisting our youngest Minnesotans is at the top of my priority list. This week, I joined a bipartisan group of legislators from the House and Senate to unveil a series of bills to benefit our youngest learners. One of the main things I’ll push for is increasing early learning scholarships for families in need.
On Thursday, I spoke to the Association of Minnesota Counties about my efforts on the Child Protection Task Force and early education scholarships. One noticeable shift in the Legislature is the recognition that early learning is critical for the future of our children. Moreover, when we target the children in the most disadvantaged situations, the future economic return is greatly enhanced. This is a long-term issue. The effects of getting this right will be realized in 10-20 years, but we must act today.
Roads and Bridges
Another top priority for House Republicans is to work toward long-term, sustainable funding for our roads and bridges. Our 2015 proposal to invest $7 billion over 10 years in Minnesota’s transportation needs remains the goal for this session. We can properly fund roads and bridges without raising taxes on middle class families.
Rural broadband is also a topic of interest at the Capitol. I am co-authoring a bill to improve rural access with an additional $35 million to the Border-to-Border grant project. As the ground thaws, I look forward to seeing more communities gaining high-speed access.
State of the State Address
This week, Governor Mark Dayton delivered his State of the State address. Mikel Nelson from Upsala was my guest, and I want to thank him for spending the evening with me.
Fish Fry Friday
Continuing with our theme of supporting Lent fish fries, please visit:
VFW in Little Falls 4:30-7:00 pm
Brickyard in Pierz 5:00 pm
Royalton VFW 4:30 pm
Thunder Lodge in Long Prairie All You Can Eat Fish on Fridays
Upsala Knights of Columbus on March 18
Please Contact Me
You can always call or email my office, or schedule a time to meet in St. Paul. I’d love to hear from you, and hope you’ll bring your comments and suggestions.
Now go outside and enjoy this early spring weather!