News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend,

With winter upon us, Minnesota’s roads are more congested and dangerous than ever. Our daily commutes to work, trips to the grocery store, and carpools to hockey games become a second job of their own, navigating icy roads and potholes the size of small cars. The federal government and the State of Minnesota each have a responsibility to provide for the safety and reinvestment in our roads and bridges, a mandate which – as a father, a coach, and an elected official – I do not take lightly.

One of the first bills I re-introduced this Congress was my National Interchange/Intersection Safety Construction Program Act, H.R. 529, which prioritizes funding for intersections and interchanges, improves safety, and increases local control over federal transportation dollars. This legislation does not increase spending or require additional appropriations. Instead, a portion of annual existing federal highway funds would be targeted for local entities to apply and compete. 

Nearly every day, we see another story about accidents at intersections and interchanges. I was recently reading about an accident on Sunfish Lake Blvd in Ramsey, Minnesota, where fortunately, no one was injured. Unfortunately, far too often, that is not the case. Many of you know which of these intersections present the most danger - these are the roads you drive every day. My legislation, H.R. 529, would allow your local elected official the opportunity to decide where the money is most desperately needed, rather than the federal government. 

Most recently, members of the Minnesota Delegation wrote a letter to the Department of Transportation to ask that they provide transparency for their infrastructure grant selection process. This year, Minnesota received zero federal funding for one of the largest transportation and infrastructure grant programs. This is absolutely unacceptable. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle, from across Minnesota signed on to this letter to express the need for rebuilding roads, bridges, and highway interchanges throughout Minnesota. This bipartisan effort is an example of the real and present needs that Minnesota faces. Our transportation infrastructure needs updating and improving, and I know my colleagues and I are dedicated to ensuring that happens.

As the snow continues to fall this winter, be safe out there. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and in the Administration to reinvest in our state’s roads and bridges, but be sure to do your part to improve the safety of our roads around the Sixth District. Give yourself enough time to get to work; put the cell phone away when you’re on the road; slow down when the roads are icy and slick. These are all simple solutions to make sure we all have a safe and happy holiday season with family and loved ones.

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