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House approves Rep. Lislegard measure to rename section of Hwy. 169 after late Sen. David Tomassoni

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, The Minnesota House passed a bill authored by Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL – Aurora) to rename a section of Highway 169 from the Marble to Mountain Iron as the “Sen. David Tomassoni Memorial Cross Range Expressway” on a vote of 129-0. The House’s expedited action follows the bill’s passage by the Minnesota Senate earlier in the day.

“Senator Tomassoni was a friend, mentor, and proud Iron Ranger,” Rep. Lislegard said. “He was a defender of our major industries of mining, logging, and tourism, and left behind an enormous legacy of service. In this politically volatile world, anybody who knew David knew that he didn’t rule with an iron fist; he led with finesse and had respect from both sides of the aisle. We miss him deeply and this section of Highway 169 will remind us of his enormous contributions to our region and to our state. I’m proud the House and Senate could both come together to get this done today on a bipartisan basis.”

Tomassoni, a Chisholm native, was elected to the Minnesota House in 1992 and was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2000. He served in leadership positions including President of the Senate, Senate President Pro Tempore, and Majority Whip, and chaired several committees during his legislative service. Prior to his legislative service, he played professional hockey in Italy and was a member of the 1984 Italian Olympic team.

In July 2021, Tomassoni was diagnosed with ALS and succumbed to the disease – which has no cure – 13 months later. Prior to his death, he successfully championed an effort to invest $20 million in ALS research and $5 million for caregiver support programs. Rep. Lislegard – the House author of the legislation – noted Tomassoni worked incredibly hard in his final days as a lawmaker to deliver the funding fully knowing he wouldn’t benefit.

The estimated $3,000 cost to design and erect signage would be covered by private contributions.

The bill now goes to Governor Walz for his anticipated signature.