Dredging Fountain Lake good for economyPublished 3:01pm Saturday, January 26, 2013
Column: Shannon Savick, Capitol CommentsHarbor
After my first couple of weeks at the Legislature, I am proud to say we have been working hard on a wide variety of issues. I’m going to be authoring a bill to help restore Fountain Lake. I’ve already introduced a bill to create living wage jobs, and Gov. Mark Dayton has released his budget proposal.
First, I’m going to be authoring a bill that will allow $7.5 million in bonding proceeds to go toward sediment removal and cleanup of Fountain Lake. The lake could be a true asset and tourist attraction for our local economy if we were able to make it more appealing for people in the area and across the state.
It will be a great benefit because if people are using our lakes, they will be stopping to buy gas and go to restaurants in our communities and bringing money into our local businesses. And cleaning up Fountain Lake will encourage local people to use the lake, rather than go out of town. When the bill passes later on this session, it will be a great win for our community.
Another bill I authored that already has been introduced will provide $30 million over the next two years to the Minnesota Investment Fund to help create jobs.
The fund allocates dollars to local cities and counties so that they can lend money to businesses in their area. It has been shown to both create jobs and be financially successful by consistently bringing in more money in tax dollars and loan repayments than it initially sends out.
This kind of proven investment is what I want to work on. It will help bring living wage jobs to the state and it’s fiscally responsible.
With Gov. Dayton’s budget coming out recently, I’ve also been working through the details of his proposal. I think it’s an excellent base to work from because it raises some revenue while making responsible cuts.
It invests in schools and children along with the economy and jobs. But it also closes loopholes for corporations that were keeping money overseas instead of investing in Minnesota. Property taxes will be lower because with increased local government aid and county program aid. Local property taxes won’t be relied upon so heavily. And we will continue to look for other ways to bring down property taxes as well.
We know that the final budget won’t look exactly like Gov. Dayton’s proposal, but we now have a good point from where we can start to work together to find the right balance.
I also wanted to let you know that my personal transition has been going well. The job is very challenging, and it can at times be lonely living away from my home and my family. But I’m settling into my studio apartment in St. Paul and I look forward to hearing from you about any ideas or concerns you have about the district.
Shannon Savick, DFL-Wells, is the state representative for House District 27A.