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Ropes: Minnesota needs jobs, jobs, jobs

Fri, Feb 12th, 2010
Posted in State of Minnesota

Making job creation the first priority of the 2010 legislative session, the Minnesota Senate recently passed a comprehensive capital investment package. State Senator Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona, was pleased that the Senate package included jobs and economic development for Chatfield and jobs and public safety for Lanesboro. Altogether, economic experts predict that the bonding bill could create as many as 10,000 jobs throughout the state.

"Minnesota's economy is not immune from the global economic crisis, with high unemployment rates and a staggering budget deficit," said Sen. Ropes. "With strong Democratic and Republican support, the Minnesota Senate invested in thousands of jobs with railroads and bridges, college campuses, roads and dams, and public utilities. These infrastructure improvements will not only enhance our quality of life, but generate economic activity and get folks back to work."

Included in the Senate's investment was $2.2 million to renovate the Potter Center for the Arts. It is estimated that the completion of this project would create 140 local jobs and generate $7 million in additional tourism spending.

"Renovating the Potter Center into a state of the art venue will boost the regional economy and create 400 jobs in Southeastern Minnesota," said Sen. Ropes. "This project is a fantastic example of a state, city, school district, and private partnership-all working thoughtfully on economic recovery."

The Senate's bill also included funding for the Department of Natural Resources to renovate the Lanesboro Dam.

"The work of making improvements to this dam will not only improve the safety of our waterways, but will create immediate local jobs," said Sen. Ropes.

The Minnesota House of Representatives is expected to take up their Capital Investment bill in the near future. Differences between the two versions will be then worked out in a conference committee. Sen. Ropes expressed her hope that this bill would be presented to the Governor in time to take advantage of the spring construction season.

"Now is an excellent time to invest in these infrastructure projects. We are getting great bid prices back because labor and material costs have gone down," said Sen. Ropes. "Minnesotans will get a bigger bang for their buck by completing this important work now."

For more information, contact Sen. Erickson Ropes' State Capitol office at 651-296-5649.

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