Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful fall weekend! It sure has seemed like a long time since we had a typical Minnesota fall day. Perfect timing for the MEA weekend; I hope our teachers, students and parents all had a nice break!
Speaking of teachers, I want to congratulate Lake City's Tom Horner, who was named the Minnesota Physical Education Teacher of the Year! I enjoyed the news articles about Mr. Horner and appreciate his philosophy of teaching kids about life long fitness and mental as well as physical health. Click here to learn more about Mr. Horner.
SUPPORTING MANUFACTURING AND FINDING WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS
Last Thursday, I was asked to participate in a Workforce Development Legislative Panel organized by the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA). Senator Eric Pratt and Representative Jim Davnie also took part – we’ve worked together in the past on Youth Skills Training legislation.
Along with lawmakers, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppinik also joined the group.
Leppink’s career has included state, federal and international civil service positions. She served as a branch chief for the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, before becoming commissioner in January of this year.
Gov Walz kicked off the morning followed by Deed commissioner Grove and then our panel. Addressing labor shortages and workforce issues are bipartisan concerns and I’m pleased to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address them.
The purpose of the panel was to discuss what Minnesota is doing to support manufacturing and the solutions related to workforce development. MPMA organizers note that the discussion is two-fold: to provide a better understanding of what our policymakers are focusing on in order to support manufacturing and our workforce challenges, and to ensure that elected leaders can engage with manufacturers to better understand the industry’s challenges.
I commented on our tax policies that impact our business competitiveness, on our strategies to address workforce shortages, and on how our schools, manufacturers, and colleges are aligning efforts to prepare students for careers. We have work to do to align all of our statewide efforts and I will continue to be an active and vocal advocate on workforce issues.
ADDRESSING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRUNCH
As an appointed member to the House Task Force on Affordable Housing, I am eager to meet with my colleagues to dig into the reasons for the high cost of housing and to vet proposals to increase our housing supply. I’ve addressed the report on building permit fees in previous updates, and I've had numerous meetings myself during this interim with housing experts and city officials. I am waiting for the House committee leadership to call a bipartisan meeting so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work on solutions!
Some good news today from Red Wing's HRA: there is additional grant money available for new home buyers. Its Affordable Housing Trust Fund Homebuyer’s Assistance Program has funding available for five more loans before the end of the year.
• Maximum $9,000 loan
• For Workforce Families
• 0 %, deferred pay-off for up to 30 years; must live in home
• 625 credit score or better
• Homebuyers Education Certificate required
• $1,000 equity required by homebuyer
• Properties to be located in the City of Red Wing
• Properties must be livable and appraise high enough for all loans
• $100 application fee due at closing
The application can be found here.
NEW 60 MPH SPEED LIMIT TO GO INTO EFFECT ON THREE SECTIONS OF HWY 63 FROM IOWA TO LAKE CITY
Local drivers take note: speed limits are going up along Highway 63.
MnDOT has announced that travelers from the Iowa border to Lake City will see segments of the two-lane portion of highway increase from 55 mph to 60 mph this week as crews post the new signs.
The new speed limits become official once the new signs are in place. MnDOT crews are posting the signs beginning Tuesday, weather permitting. Motorists should be alert for crews, who are replacing the signs along the shoulders of the road.
The work on Highway 63 covers the Iowa border north to Spring Valley, the junction of Hwy 16 north to Stewartville and 75th Street north of Rochester north to Lake City. Other portions of the road are four-lane and subject to other speed limits.
STAYING IN TOUCH
As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.