Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update
I recently had the chance to meet with a large group of students from Blaine High School. The students showed a remarkable level of interest in both the issues we are considering at the Legislature as well as the political process in general. In fact, I think many of them will run for office down the road.
Minnesota Management and Budget announced the February Economic Forecast this week projecting a state surplus of $1.65 billion. Additionally, the forecast highlighted our state’s low unemployment and a stable budget.
While Minnesota’s economy is performing well, we should always be looking for ways to improve. This surplus is an opportunity to reinvest in every Minnesotan in all corners of the state – through strong public schools, affordable, quality health care, lower college tuition and access to job training opportunities.
We must also come together to solve our state’s transportation needs, as we have neglected to make significant updates to our roads, bridges, and transit system. We are also overdue to pass a bonding bill to invest in our state infrastructure needs. It is time to push politics aside and put the needs of Minnesotans first. I’m ready to continue working with Governor Dayton and my legislative colleagues to build a shared vision of economic prosperity for all Minnesotans.
Highway 65 study
This session, I’m coauthoring a bill to fund a study of the congestion and potential safety improvements on Highway 65 from Highway 10 to Bunker Lake Blvd in Ham Lake. Over 53,000 vehicles travel through Blaine every day on this stretch of road and we need to begin exploring options. This legislation, HF 1496, is a bipartisan effort to do this supported by legislators representing communities up and down the Highway 65 corridor. The bill has already passed the Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee, and now awaits action by the Transportation Finance Committee.
Work at the legislature continues at a hectic pace, with committee hearings meeting more frequently and into the evening. Committee deadlines on bills are now on the horizon, so it’s important to keep in touch with your priorities. I invite you to call or email me any time.