Last Tuesday I had the honor of being sworn in as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. I am very grateful to the people of my district for electing me as your humble servant. I ask for your continued prayers that I may be able to serve you all with the utmost care.
I have hit the ground running working on your behalf. Even before I was sworn in, I was taking meetings. On December 27, I had a long and productive meeting with Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District Superintendent Scott Thielman on K-12 funding issues.
On January 3, I attended a Schools for Equity Funding in Education presentation and discussion moderated by Superintendent Thielman at Discovery School in Buffalo. This group advocates for equitable distribution of school dollars in the state and for access to quality education for all students. Along with other legislators from Wright and Sherburne counties, we met with local school officials to discuss the need for our area schools to be treated fairly and equally when it comes to education funding.
Last Thursday, I had the privilege of meeting with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in my office in St. Paul. One of the topics of discussion was the need to expand the Interstate 94 corridor from Rogers to St. Cloud from four lanes to six lanes. I plan to use my position on the House Transportation Finance Committee to introduce a proposal to make this much needed improvement. The committee chairman, DFL Representative Frank Hornstein, assured the committee that any bill a committee member puts forward would receive a hearing. I’m hopeful that we can work together in a bipartisan way on both the state and federal level to get this done. On another critical transportation issue, I attended a Highway 55 Corridor Coalition meeting on December 14 and offered my support. The coalition has been meeting since 2001 to advocate for increased safety and capacity improvements in the Highway 55 corridor from I-494 to Annandale.
There is much work to do as session gets moving. As your voice in St. Paul, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-5063. You can also send me mail to my office address: 229 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family, friends, and neighbors so they can sign up and stay in touch.