Goggin sees a session homerun for Red Wing
While the Minnesota 2017 legislative session may have come to a close until February 2018, there's still a lot of work to be done. For Sen. Mike Goggin, his first year on the seat at the Capitol started off running.
"We didn't want to give up on anything," Goggin said. "You can't be timid out there, let's put it that way."
Goggin spent part of his time serving on five committees while also continuing his full-time work at the Prairie Island nuclear plant in Red Wing. He served fon or policy and finance committees for agriculture, rural development and housing, energy and utilities, jobs and economic growth and veterans and military affairs.
One specific issue, Goggin mentioned, is the anticipation of a shortage of trades workers, not only in Red Wing but the entire state. Working on jobs and economic growth will help keep him at the forefront of finding a solution to this emerging problem.
A few victories for Senate District 21, he said, include money for road repairs, bridge bonding and construction. Red Wing can see over $20 million coming in to help keep the community safe. Certain items that have been in the works for years were finally resolved and received funding.
"Our biggest asset is the river," Goggin said. "We don't have the manufacturing base like you do in the Twin Cities. Whatever we can do to help with the tourism and draw people into the area ... from getting people to come down here and enjoy what we enjoy every day."
Minnesotans can expect to see a more than $300 million influx of funding for roads over two years and an additional $16 million for small cities' road projects.
Other changes to keep an eye an include new laws for Minnesotans to use a state-issued ID to board an airplane or enter a federal facility, 5G Wifi speeds due to a new small cell technology initiative and the repeal of an outdated Sunday sales law, allowing Minnesotans to purchase alcohol starting in July 2.
Buffer reforms, such as narrowing the definition of public waters, were also put in place, despite Gov.Mark Dayton and his administration refusing to agree to any changes, Goggin noted.
Health care legislation passed to allow patients with serious conditions more time to transition to new providers if their insurance networks changed. And education saw an increase of $1.3 billion to a total of $18.7 billion to fund a variety of programs.
A big part of Goggin's job is speaking to constituents and making sure their voice can be heard at the Capitol.
"If a constituent shows up, they go to the top," Goggin said. "I'm going to step out and meet with them. It's their seat at the Capitol that I have the honor and privilege to be the voice for the district."