News from Representative Tom Emmer
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Dear Friend,

From Waconia to Anoka, to Forest Lake and everyone headed up to St. Cloud, transportation and the need for more roads, lanes and bridges is a critical priority for our District. Last week, I introduced a bill to repair, fix, and replace our state’s dilapidated bridges. Congress must continue to invest in the things that keep Minnesotans, and our nation moving.

Keep reading to learn more about this bill, and everything else we accomplished last week!


Improving Minnesota’s Transportation Routes

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We expect our government to tend to the needs of our roads and bridges. They are critical elements of our transportation infrastructure. In the land of 10,000 lakes, they connect our communities and get us to the places we need to go, from the supermarket, to our grandma’s house, or up to the cabin. We trust that they are safe for ourselves and our families. 

In 2007, all Minnesotans witnessed the result of ignored infrastructure in the collapse of the I-35W bridge. The bridge responsible for transporting 140,000 drivers per day resulted in 13 lives lost and another 145 injured. 

It happened here, and it can happen anywhere.  

To date, one in every three bridges across our country needs some type of repair or replacement. In Minnesota alone, 1.5 million crossings over unstable bridges occur every day. When we consider our rural communities, the problem is magnified: over 80% of the bridges in need of repairs across our state are in rural areas. Our aging infrastructure costs families an average of $3,400 a year, in addition to untold amounts as a result of uncorrected safety hazards. 

I introduced the National Bridge Replacement and Improvement Act, which creates a grant program for bridge improvements, replacements and repairs. It uses existing funds to help achieve the U.S. Department of Transportation’s stated goal of eliminating the backlog of bridge projects by 2032. 

There is always more work to be done. One of Minnesota’s most pervasive problems is the daily commute with long delays, accidents, and preventable fatalities at intersections and rail-grade crossings. In fact, more than half of all crashes involving injuries occur at or near intersections. 28% of these crashes are fatal. It’s clear this problem needs a solution, so I also introduced the National Intersection and Interchange Safety Construction Program Act to establish a grant program to assist safety improvements for high-risk intersections and interchanges. 

Recently, we have seen investments in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District for projects I was proud to advocate for. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that they would be awarding a $40 million grant to Anoka County for the improvement of Highway 10/169, a much-needed investment in this area. They also have made several improvements to our regional airports which improve and increase our economic growth in Central Minnesota. 

I will always advocate for better and more reliable transportation routes for Minnesotans. Safety is my priority and I am committed to ensuring its maintained. 


Telephone Town Hall on Education

Last week, I hosted my fifth telephone town hall this year. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, I hosted in-person town halls once-a-month. Despite the new challenges presented by the pandemic, I am committed to keeping those lines of communication open and hearing from constituents of the Sixth as much as possible. 

The topic of this month’s telephone town hall was education, and I was fortunate to be joined by two fantastic Superintendents from the Sixth Congressional District. We had an excellent discussion about planning for coming school year, and fielded dozens of questions from parents and residents interested in learning how our state and local officials are working to accommodate the needs of all of our students.

Hosting town halls has always been a way for me to provide constituents with the tools, information, and resources they need to better understand how government is working for them. It was great that so many were able to join us for last week’s event. Following the town hall, Governor Walz issued his guidance, which can be read here

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Ensuring Accountability at the CFPB

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Last week, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing where I questioned the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Kathy Kraninger. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that the requirements needed to remove a Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) were unconstitutional.  

This hearing gave me the opportunity to ask the current Director how this agency plans to remain accountable and transparent to the American people. You can watch the hearing here


Young Women’s Leadership Program

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Every year, my office hosts our Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) series. It’s an opportunity for young women from 9th through 12th grade in the Sixth District to meet and interact with female leaders in Minnesota who have built successful careers. 

As the father of seven children, I had the duty of raising 6 boys and the privilege of raising one daughter, Katie. Being the middle child between all of her brothers gets crowded, so I always made sure Katie knew she was capable of absolutely anything. Now, as a representative in Congress, I have the opportunity to amplify this message which is how the Young Women’s Leadership Program started. 

Mentorship is vital, which is why I love being able to connect these our future leaders with those currently leading in their fields. I want them to know the simple truth that they are capable of absolutely anything - just like I always told Katie, and still do. 

This program is led by the participants. They ask questions to inspire the discussion with our gracious panelists who dedicate their time to share their experiences and insights. Last week, we had Roshini Rajkumar of WCCO Radio’s Real Talk with Roshini and Roshini Performance Group, and Laurie Brattensborg, who leads the Payment Integrity Division at Medica and owns and operates the kickboxing gym, 9Rounds in Rogers, MN. 

This year, we are conducting the program virtually to maintain social distancing guidelines. The program consists of a series of three events throughout the summer with different panelists at each event. 

To learn more about YWLP and to inquire about participating, click here


Survey: Share your thoughts!

The United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate are currently working on another COVID relief package. Which priorities would you like to see included in this legislation?

1. Direct Payments to Individuals
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2. Testing and vaccination
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3. Schools
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4. Other Provisions (Check all that apply) 
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As always, please do not hesitate to contact my offices in either Otsego, MN or in Washington, D.C. if I can be of assistance to you or your family.  You can also send me an e-mail here. To keep up with what we’re doing, follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Until next week... 

Sincerely,
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