Thursday, March 28, 2013

Coffee with State Reps on Easter Break

Senator Vicki Jensen (24) and Representative John Petersburg (24A) joined more than 24 members for a legislative update at 'Coffee with the State Representatives' on March 28th, hosted by the AmericInn Hotel & Suites Owatonna- Conference Center.
Senator Jensen and Representative Petersburg
address OACCT members at a legislative
 update event on March 28th.

Senator Jensen shared insights on education bills and funding all day Kindergarten (House, Senate and Governor all want-discussion becomes how much to fund); transportation and Highway 14 funding (Corridors of Commerce bill to drop next week-anticipated to add 5 cent gas tax); and the health insurance exchange status (trying to separate article 1 and 2 for separate votes in Senate).

Representative Petersburg outlined the three state areas that fund transportation (gas tax, licence tab fees and vehicle sales tax) and it's also used to fund airports, port authorities, light rail and salaries for the Highway Patrol.  The state the state's transportation budget includes about 40% from the federal level-he questions how much we as a state should rely on those dollars.

Both officials support funding efforts for the completion of Highway 14. Senator Jensen encouraged people to contact the Governor and let them know they'd support a gas tax for the completion of Highway 14. Rep. Petersburg outlined that the state's fuel consumption has declined in recent years and offered a couple leverage points in the discussion with the proposed $4 billion Mayo Clinic expansion in Rochester (need to have good infrastructure), the potential 'Corridors of Commerce' bill (funding mechanism) and offered that "...

the only time we fail is if we quit.  We need to keep going and keep trying."  

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