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Friends and Neighbors,

Just when we thought winter was going to hold out on us, it decided to show up just in time for the legislative session. While I do appreciate the time I can take staying in-district to meet with constituents during the interim, a little bit of snow isn’t going to hold me back from the excitement of getting back to business at the capitol. It truly is a privilege to serve the residents of Chisago and Isanti Counties in the Minnesota Senate.

Capital Improvements Bonding Tour

You may have heard this legislative session referred to as a “bonding year”. A legislative biennium is typically split into a policy year (last year) and a bonding year. This year, on January 17th, I joined the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee and local officials in Chisago and Isanti Counties to hear presentations about proposed local projects, including Wyoming’s public safety center, the Lakes Area police department and law enforcement center, and New Pathways Shelter.

Wyoming Public Safety Center

The Wyoming Police and Fire Departments have requested an $8 million bonding bill to assist in building a new Public Safety Center in which both entities would share and operate. This new building would better serve the growing population and highly traveled region while freeing up the current building to be re-purposed for Public Works use. (Photo courtesy Chisago County Press)

Lakes Area Regional Public Safety Training Ctr

Lakes Area Regional Public Safety Training Center

Chisago City has requested $3.3 million in state bonds proceeds to build a new regional public safety training facility to serve the cities of Chisago City, Lindstrom, and surrounding areas. The remaining funds (majority) needed for this build will be provided through non-state sources. (Photo courtesy Chisago County Press)

New Pathways Shelter

New Pathways Shelter

New Pathways, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting families break the cycle of homelessness, has requested $5 million in state bond funds to build a new facility in Cambridge. You can learn more about the mission of New Pathways by visiting their website at https://www.newpathwaysmn.com/. (Photo courtesy of Chisago-Isanti County Star)

Moving Forward Through This Session

When I returned to the capitol on Monday for the beginning of session, I expected it would be shaped in large part by the forthcoming February revenue forecast, scheduled to be released later this month, which will detail the state’s financial picture. A report issued by the office of Minnesota Management and Budget last December projected a small budget surplus for the upcoming session and a $2.5 billion deficit in the following budget cycle.

Please stay informed! If you received this newsletter from a friend, I would encourage you to subscribe to my official email list to stay up to date on everything happening in St. Paul, and reach out to me if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns. While these newsletters are great ways to receive highlighted information, not everything can be sent out through this manner. I encourage you to look on the Senate website and sign up for notifications on topics that interest you to make sure you stay up-to-date. You can find the daily Senate schedule here. You can subscribe to committee notifications at the bottom of each committee page. Once subscribed, you’ll receive an email any time new information is made available regarding that committee.

Contact information

I always encourage constituents to contact me directly with any questions, concerns, or feedback. You can email me at sen.mark.koran@mnsenate.gov or by calling my office at 651-296-5419. Lastly, my legislative assistant, Melissa Field, is also a great resource for information and is always willing to help where she can. She can be reached at 651-296-6200.

Remember – stay informed, stay in contact, and stay involved.