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Walz Discusses Infrastructure Investments at Legislative Breakfast for Duluth Days

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: February 21, 2019 05:55 PM

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz addressed a packed house of St. Louis County leaders on his budget plans to support and grow the county at the 22nd annual legislative breakfast in Saint Paul Thursday.

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"Building for the future takes vision and courage and this room is full of vision and courage,” Walz said.

The legislative breakfast was hosted at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel as part of day two for the Duluth and St. Louis County at the Capitol Days. The event was packed with residents and politicians who have optimism for the future of the county.

"There’s a ton of collaboration across sectors, across political ideology to all really work together to better our community,” Rep. Liz Olson for Minnesota House District 7B, said.

At the event, Walz gave his keynote address on plans he has for the county with his budget plan.

"We unveiled a budget this week that’s certainly city and county friendly in terms of local government aid, county program aid, reduction in sales taxes that should help them bring off some pressure off of property taxes,” Walz said.

Coined as ‘One Minnesota’ the budget is considered the biggest investment in greater Minnesota history. $512 million will cover multiple areas like affordable housing, local education, broadband internet access, expanding rural mental health services, child care access, and more.

"He's serious about making investments in our community and across the state from bringing local government aid back up which will really help our community invest in long term transportation solutions,” Olson said.

The event was Walz’s first legislative breakfast as governor and in his keynote address he focused on transportation and infrastructure improvements needed in the county.

"We will have a world class transportation system ready for the next 100 years,” Walz said.

Walz also commented on the controversial 20 cent gas tax increase that’s part of his transportation plan.

"Had previous governors done it, the one standing here today wouldn't have to do it and we wouldn't be rated a D- in roads. We wouldn't be putting townships in a position where they have to decide to turn roads back to gravel, we wouldn’t have bridges fall in the river, and we would have jobs being created here at home,” Walz said.

Fixing Minnesota roads proved be the focus at this year's Duluth and St. Louis County at the Capitol Days.

The 22nd annual event was described as the best turnout despite dangerous road conditions due to a snow storm Wednesday.

“We had hundreds of Duluthians and St. Louis County residents here at the capitol advocating on priorities, our shared priorities for our community. It’s a very powerful day,” Olson said.

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Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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