Sen. Kiffmeyer's Column

Subhead: 
Senator
Mary Kiffmeyer
Although the 2014 session does not start for another six weeks, there are a number of hot issues that are currently being worked on at the Capitol.  Here are my thoughts on one of these pressing issues: the construction of a new Senate Office Building.
Earlier last week, Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL) forced a vote in the Senate Rules Committee to approve the construction of a new $90 million Senate Office Building.  He did this despite there being a district court case currently pending against the construction of this project. 
I strongly object to this unnecessary and expensive new building. But the fact is simply that the DFL legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton were so determined, they ignored all proper legislative process to get it done.   It was  inserted into the tax bill in 2013 at the very last minute without any public input or testimony. 
We don't need a fancy crystal building towering over the capitol with heated underground parking, weight rooms and beautiful new offices for senators to look across University Ave at the Capitol.
To make it even worse, their funding proposal to pay for the building over the next thirty years calls for a ‘finance on the go' structure. This will require the legislature to appropriate money for the building every biennium.
That is out of the norm in how the legislature has previously funded large capital projects in Minnesota and puts taxpayers in a risky position in the future. Reminds me of the proposal from Gov Dayton on paying for the stadium. 
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about this or any other legislative issue.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about MNSure or any other legislative issue.
State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer 123 State Office Building 100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-5655 E-mail address- sen.mary.kiffmeyer@senate.mn

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(From left) Lexi Freund (Big Lake), Betsey Cornelius and Ben Cornelius (Nowthen), Gunner Dorweiler and Colton Dorweiler (Princeton), Ben Manning (Zimmerman), Bailey Dorweiller (Princeton) and Salene Krueger (Big Lake.) The county fair runs from July 16-19. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Dr. Lola Sutherland is retiring from clinical practice after 33 years in the Big Lake community. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards.)

SMITTY’S AMATEUR FIDDLERS CONTEST drew 22 musicians to compete in Big Lake this year. They were accompanied by Gilmore Lee.

LEE GERHARDSON, 47, from New London, was found dead in Big Lake near the swimming beach in 10 feet of water Monday. Cause of death is unknown at this time but foul play is not suspected.

Adopt-a-Road participants volunteer for Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and work to clean roadsides that border and bisect refuge land. This spring, from April to June, approximately six individuals, three families, and seven groups, such as boy and girl scouts and 4-H groups, volunteered to clean countless miles of roads. (Submitted photo.)