This followed a tour earlier this fall from the House Capital Investment Committee, which got a first-hand look at priorities like the Northeast Regional Corrections Center (NERCC), Aurora’s water plant, Eveleth’s public buildings, the Virginia Fire Hall (to learn about the proposed new EMS and public safety building), and Mesabi Range College.
Local officials and state agencies are requesting $5.3 billion worth of proposed public infrastructure improvements like these around the state, many of which leverage local dollars to strengthen critical public services and facilities. I’m committed to enacting a robust, regionally-balanced capital investment bill to take care of our needs.
I’m also participating in meetings here on the Range and at the Capitol about important issues like mental health, substance abuse, the child care shortage, and new mining opportunities.
Spirit of Hospitality Awards
I was honored to attend the Spirit of Hospitality Awards last week, which were hosted by the Iron Range Tourism Bureau. Every single job within our hospitality industry is vital in ensuring our entire region can succeed economically, and those visiting us are left with a positive impression and want to return again and again. They serve the people of the Iron Range day in and day out with pride.
Hospitality workers perform their jobs with enthusiasm and a goal to ensure that guests have a superb experience leaving them with a smile. They often help create memories that last a lifetime. I'm thrilled our region is home to an event such as this, giving many hard-working people an opportunity to receive these honors. On behalf of the entire legislature, I want to offer my sincere congratulations to everyone who was nominated and those honored with an award.
First-Term Lawmakers on the Range
My fellow first-term lawmakers, on a bipartisan basis, are committed to visiting each other’s districts to learn about one another and the areas we each represent. To develop an understanding of our respective regions of the state, I truly believe you need to see them up-close. As part of this effort, many of my first-term colleagues, along with House Speaker Melissa Hortman (who got to push the button for a mine blast!), took a trip up to the Iron Range recently. It’s no secret our region is unique, and by visiting, my colleagues left with a stronger understanding of our way of life, challenges, and vision for the future. The Mesabi Daily News has more here.
I was excited about the Catalyst Festival’s debut in Duluth earlier this fall which I believe can put our region on a new pathway to economic growth. With a multitude of streaming and digital platforms in addition to TV and film, there are tremendous opportunities for more creative content distribution, but much of it just needs an audience and events like Catalyst can provide exactly that. As I told the Star Tribune, I don’t see us becoming the next Hollywood, but with a strategic set of incentives from the state of Minnesota, we can create good opportunities for people to thrive, in addition to attracting good-paying union jobs. I’m looking forward to Catalyst’s return in 2020!
Happy Deer Opener
If you’re one of the half-million Minnesotans who hunt deer every year, I hope you will have a safe and successful opener on Saturday. The Minnesota DNR has some good information here about safety, conservation efforts (including preventing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease), and licensing.
Please continue to contact me with your viewpoints and ideas. It’s an honor to represent you.