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2005 Minnesota Legislative Update


Thu, Dec 30th, 2004
Posted in Features

Republican State Senator Robert Kierlin, Republican State Representative Greg Davids and Democratic State Representative Gene Pelowski agree on a lot.They agree that the upcoming legislative session will be about transportation, and about K-12 education and laying out a biennial budget. They know that balancing the $700 million deficit will be difficult, especially with Governor Tim Pawlentys pledge of no new taxes (at least without the electorate voting on it). They also know that there are high expectations for the legislature to get things done. No more partisan bickering that leads to legislative gridlock. The citizens want results.The makeup of the legislature has changed significantly since the last session, with Democrats controlling the state senate and Republicans holding a one seat majority in the state house. The failure of the last legislature to pass a bonding bill has added an additional burden on the 2005 legislature. The three elected officials met with area newspaper editors in Rushford recently to discuss the 2005 legislative session. Bonding BillAll three legislators hope that a bonding bill is passed in January, which will help address transportation and other infrastructure needs. In addition to roads, possible area projects include a science building at Winona State University, gnomics research for Rochester and nanotechnology for Rushford.Greg Davids fears the bonding bill wont be passed until May, further delaying necessary projects. Gene Pelowski believes it will be passed in January as long as legislators dont cherry pick projects.Everybody wants a bonding bill, Robert Kierlin said. Its just a matter of getting it into a conference committee. He believes an $800 million bonding bill should pass without too much difficulty.Transportation The Association of Minnesota Counties has recommended that the legislature spend $1 billion on transportation, using bonding money as well as increases in the gas tax to finance it.Kierlin, Pelowski and Davids are not opposed to increasing the gas tax, which operates more like a user fee, to help finance transportation.I am open to increasing it 5 a gallon as long as the same 1958 distribution formula stays in place, Davids said. K-12 EducationAccording to Greg Dav .....
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County moves forward on septic program

Thu, Dec 30th, 2004
Posted in Features

In an effort to improve water quality in Fillmore and Mower counties, especially along the watershed of the South Branch of the Root River, The Clean Water Partnership Project Implementation Loan Agreement was approved. Donna Rasmussen from the Soil ..... 
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Rushford generator issue still undecided

Thu, Dec 30th, 2004
Posted in Features

There is no problem so big it cant be run away from, quoting Lucy Van Pelt of Charlie Brown fame, Rushford Mayor T.S. Roberton explained the delay in making the final decision on the purchase of back-up generator at the December 27 Rushford Counci ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court: Cresco man charged with felony DWI

Thu, Dec 30th, 2004
Posted in Features

Jamie Allyn Mincks, 24, of Cresco, was charged with two felony counts of driving while under the influence in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, December 27.

According to court documents, Mincks was driving north bound on ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Council discusses gift of land for park

Thu, Dec 30th, 2004
Posted in Features

At their Monday, December 27 meeting, the Lanesboro City Council discussed an offer from Eric Bunge to give the city land that would be used for a park near the Coffee Street Bridge.

The park would link a proposed trail between ..... 
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2004 in Review

Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Editors note: The Journal looked at what news makers in Fillmore County said over the past year as a way to profile the year 2004. From the pages of the Fillmore County Journal, heres what was said on a range of topics:

Why d ..... 
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Sculpture park proposed for Preston

Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Christmas is only days away and winter is officially upon us both according to the calendar and as confirmed by our first raw cold, windy, snowy blast. A non-contentious agenda failed to bring but a few winter tough citizens out to the last Preston c ..... 
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Fillmore Central School Board: Is German kaput? Vielleicht!

Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Based on declining interest, German may soon be dropped as a foreign language at Fillmore Central High School.

High School Principal Heath Olstad told the Fillmore Central School Board at their December 20 meeting that German w ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Andrea Michele Torgeson, 23, of Fountain, was sentenced to five years probation in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, December 20.

Torgeson pled guilty to felony check forgery. According to court documents, checks were ta ..... 
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