Pre-COVID, the number one thing that Shakopee residents talked to me about was transportation. Scott County has an inadequate number of river crossings compared to other areas of the metro and causes a major traffic bottleneck on Highway 169.
Because of this, I lobbied extremely hard to be on the Transportation Committee and was extremely proud when Speaker Hortman appointed me as the Vice-Chair.
Often, the Vice-Chair is a more ceremonial role where you fill running committee hearings when the Chair is unable and carrying some bills for the department. I was extremely lucky to have Rep Frank Hornstein as Chair of the House Transportation Committee. He utilized my knowledge and expertise on transportation issues from my time as Mayor of Shakopee and included me in negotiations and meetings that were happening to craft bills and set policy.
It was an incredible learning experience and opportunity for me to both advocate for transportation in Shakopee and insert my ideas for how we can dramatically improve our transportation system throughout Minnesota.
Together, we passed a transportation budget that solved many problems of today but also charted a course for tomorrow. I was in the room for the all-night sessions of negotiating with the Senate and Governor’s office. There I was able to focus on issues important to Shakopee like the 169 bridge and transit for our community (more on these later this month).
I’m really proud of the work we did in 2019 and in 2020 to meet the needs of our transportation system and COVID.
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