Jerry Hughes during his tenure as state senator. (file photo)
State Sen. Chuck Wiger District 43
In the words of Jerome M. ‘Jerry’ Hughes’ children, "Dad taught us how to live and how to die, with great character, graciousness and dignity. He was a class act. We are blessed to have had him for our father." I want to echo Hughes’ six children, Jerry was a personal mentor of mine and had a profoundly positive effect on my life and career.
Every July 4, citizens all across Minnesota and the country celebrate our Independence Day. It’s a day well-known for picnics and fireworks displays; but it’s also the day our ancestors stood up for liberty and asserted ourselves as a free nation. As you celebrate our nation’s birthday, remember the words of the Declaration of Independence:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain
"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." — President Dwight Eisenhower
The State Senate is scrambling to try to help school districts after yet more problems for schools trying to give students the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment.
The statewide student testing system used to administer the MCA’s test has failed repeatedly throughout this spring’s testing season. First there were technological problems administering the test, then testing was halted for a suspected hacking attempt.
With under one month remaining in the 2015 Legislative Session, the work at the Capitol is focused on responsibly balancing the state’s budget. This task is made easier by the $1.86 billion surplus resulting from increased economic activity in Minnesota.
Minnesota continues to be a national leader in economic recovery following the recent recession. Thanks to responsible budgeting, we now have the opportunity to make wise investments that will put more jobs, money and opportunities in the hands of Minnesotans to continue this robust come-back.
With only a week of session left, many of us are asking where the last few months went. This week the E-12 Division met in conference committee several times to lay out the differences between our two bills. On Thursday the Senate also took up the Legacy Bill – which takes three-eighths of one percent of the state sales tax and uses the money to invest in clean water, outdoor heritage, arts and cultural heritage and parks and trails. The bill totals $537 million over the FY16-17 biennium and invests in hundreds of important projects that will protect and enhance important places all across the state.
The Senate recently passed provisions investing in our state’s economic development programs, workforce programs and our natural resources. The bill supports existing programs that help people find jobs, and funds new ideas that help move Minnesota forward.
Here are some highlights: