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A busy final week at the Legislature has culminated in the passage by both the House and Senate of a 2014 bonding bill. The bill was put together after months of negotiations and input and will result in southeastern Minnesota seeing great benefits and prosperity.

When I have the opportunity to visit with the citizens from the district I represent here at the Capitol and in district, I often speak of and stress not only the importance of working hard, but that we must also work together. This has been very clear during the bonding bill negotiations.

I am fortunate to have a great working relationship with both house members from our district. It is not uncommon to see Rep. Pelowski, Rep. Davids and myself together at events and many times we are on the same side of issues, especially local issues. We have worked very closely together to ensure that the bonding projects critical to our area were included in the bonding bill.

The 2014 bonding bill includes $842 million in general obligation bonds and another $198 million in cash projects. Projects in the bonding bill from our district include Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical, Phase 1 of the Winona State University Education Village, Chatfield Center for the Arts, Port Development Assistance, Fish Hatchery Improvements, Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Grants as well as funding for roads, bridges and infrastructure across the state.

The Minnesota State – Southeast Technical project will design, renovate, repurpose, furnish and equip classroom and lab space at both the Red Wing and Winona campuses and is funded at $1.7 million.

Phase I of the Winona State University Education Village project has been funded at $5.9 million. In the coming bonding years, I will continue to advocate for full funding for this project which, when completed, will design, renovate, remodel, furnish and equip classrooms for the Education Village project that includes Wabasha Hall, Wabasha Rec and the Cathedral School.

The Chatfield Center for the Arts is funded at $5.352 million and is a grant to the city of Chatfield economic development authority to construct and equip Phase II and Phase IV of the Chatfield Center for the Arts.

Under the Department of Transportation, Port Development Assistance is funded at $2 million for Port improvements across the state and will significantly impact the Port in Winona.

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The Department of Natural Resources will fund improvements to fish hatcheries across the state at $2 million which will provide needed assistance to the fish hatchery in Lanesboro.

The Greater Minnesota Business Public Infrastructure Grants are funded at $4 million. Communities in greater Minnesota are eligible for these grants which will help stimulate new economic development, create new jobs and retain existing jobs through investment in public infrastructure.

Finally, the 2014 bonding bill will help improve Minnesota’s crumbling roads, bridges and infrastructure with funding for local bridge replacement programs, greater Minnesota transit and over $54 million in local road improvement grants.

These are important investments that will encourage growth and prosperity in southeastern Minnesota. By working together with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Rep. Pelowski, Rep. Davids and I were able to ensure our district was well funded in the 2014 bonding bill.

Republican Jeremy Miller represents Minnesota’s 28th Senate District.

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(16) comments

Hive

Emil, you sly dog. Just caught your observ...I gen look at top of comments...anyway.

No Draz, not worth the time.

His district cannot do better, I cannot change, so why bother?

To me, he seems the village idiot and ultimately hurts all MN and will end up out, eventually. No substance, no temerity, just catch-phrases and posturing.

Got to be better people up there who might run to improve the state, not just for the money as seems the case with Draz, Valentine etal.

Capt. Norb +1 too, you gotta wonder why the pup does not, and therein lies the tale.

Change is messy.

Need more Howes (former Redwing pol) etc.. But, cannot blame good people for avoiding bad things.

Still, you caught it...good on ya.

rstatesman

The problem defeating Draz is several. 1st, in Draz's district Democrats have only run party liberals. 2nd, local Democratic party itself. Some conservative Democrats wanted to run a conservative independent for the party endorsement to beat Draz. The problem was the Democratic caucuses are controlled by the unions, this person was not 100% union, so they killed their own chance in defeating Draz, now having no candidate at all. 3rd, past candidates have never really taken Draz on directly, how he votes or says one thing, doing another. Draz wants to do away with public financing but takes it each election. Draz is for term limits but the number of terms he is for increases with the years he's served. They never go after him on how he knows very little about education and financing. 4th, Draz raises $25,000 or more for his re-election. Most $'s comes from outside the district, a good share coming from outside Minnesota. Democrat's could defeat Draz if they would only listen.

Leslie Hittner

If these benefits were going to institutions in and around Duluth, we would be calling them "earmarks" in the bonding bill.

Such is the way of politics...

Rock-on

Emil, Draz did Not vote for the bonding bill, and I wouldn't have either. Miller and Pelowski did. The spending bill was full of pork and should not have passed either. I'm not saying it was all bad. If only a bonding bill would be presented where everything makes sense!! Same for the spending bill.

Emil

Thanks Rock

Hive

Look, Nothing personal, I just look at Pelowski and then Miller, looks at what they do, not just the money for institutions etc, and decide. I give them time...

What ails the state (not talking jobs) but generally (besides the weather). For me it is the tax system. These people will return form dinking around St.P and blow their horns for doing minimal work...bonding bill? Cuts? For who and why?

How about revising the tax code or at least pushing for it, say some kind of simple and even flat tax and get rid of the red tape, extra expense we all are burdened with and so on? We live in a very expensive place and it is not really improving. Who is to blame for that, besides voters who vote for the status quo and the apathetic?

Drones need instructions-party politics...both of them.

Need some temerity, some chance-takers, some change in the sorry MN status quo, maybe pretty much everywhere, seems to me, so I rag on those who hold office and do squat, young, old, party makes no diff.

Emil

Notice the omission of Draz?

easy

Sampson and Norb, you're both right on. And I don't mean to diminish Jeremy at all, I like what I know of him personally.

And he is of course a good looking guy, whatever haircut he might have. He truly has no problem being "presentable," in any dimension.

I can't argue. Probably just my own prejudice from someplace, but when I see that picture, I see a young fellow. I wonder if other politicians ever consider how they might appear to the public?

easy

Emil, that's a great question! It caused me to read the whole thing again, carefully. He surely implies he was a proponent, and explains its benefits, but did he vote for it?

Little things mean a lot.

Sampson

What is it shoot the messenger day? At least he writes an article about what was in the bill and what got approved. As for Pup....I'd say we need a few fresh youngsters in the legislature! Lord knows the old dogs that have been there forever aren't cutting it.

Emil

Did he vote for the bonding bill? How bout Draz and Gene and Davids?

rstatesman

Let talk politicians here, Representative Davids voted for the bonding bill because it brought dollars to a project in his district. A good conservative, if you are a fool, who questions spending state taxpayers money until it pockets him votes for his district. Let us look at the other side, Matt Schmitt voted against the bonding bill. Why did Matt Schmitt vote against a bill doing his favorite thing, spending taxpayer dollars. Because it did not include all the money he was hoping for in funding projects in his district. These two politicians have no qualities to be considered worthy of being a statesman. They only care about their own self image, self preservation and getting votes to get re-elected, not doing the right thing.

Hive

Easy +1...

FWIW. "Pup" is a term I learned from a friend Stu, his uncle. Just means "youngster."

That aside, you have a good point. But, then, maybe the "perception (which Agassi said in Canon commercials) is everything!" And it often, too often, is!

Ever notice how many dogs end up resembling their owners? Maybe the case here?

Young or old (Pelowski) neither is very creative, nor does much for us dodgers. Just follow party orders etc.

IMHO.

Can't figure it out!

easy

I was going to make a post earlier, but didn't. But Hive's use of the word 'pup' pushed me off the fence.

I feel wrong commenting on personal appearance, but I mean this more to help Jeremy than hurt his feelings.

Jeremy -- lose that childish haircut, and get something grown-up. You're not twelve any more, and people don't want fresh-faced kids, they want maturity and experience.

You want votes, and like it or not, impressions count.

Captain Norb

"....people don't want fresh-faced kids...."

But his election sales pitch was that his face was fresh and his politics wasn't as usual. Maybe something different next time.

Hive

Here comes the spin...like little Jack Horner, who did nada, "look what a good boy am I." Pup is not quite the best, is he?

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