RAMS HIRES GARY CERKVENIK AS LOBBYIST FOR 2017
Gary Cerkvenik has been involved in politics since his childhood. As a lobbyist, Gary is well respected among his peers and members of the legislature from both sides of the aisle. Gary is also a borne and bred Iron Ranger who has a deep passion for this region and has worked for many clients who have developed projects, businesses and jobs on the Range because of Gary’s efforts. The RAMS board of directors is excited to announce that Gary will be working on our legislative priorities, assisting in educating our member groups on lobbying, bonding projects and other politically connected dealings. Watch for updates from Gary during the session on our website and in our newsletter.
DAILY SESSION UPDATES
RAMS – 2017 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES:
- Local Government Aid payments – critical that a tax bill be passed as soon as possible so LGA payments are received by our member cities.
- Broadband expansion across the Taconite Assistance Area –(long term goal) Support funding of the Office of Broadband. Fund the Border to Border Broadband Fund ($100 million recommendation) Fix the Border to Border Broadband Fund – certain policy impede the advancement of broadband expansion and a new standard for broadband networks should be included at 100 Mb/20 Mb when installed.
- Amend the language that requires cities and townships to upfront payments to the DOT when a State Aide highway or road is being repaired, replaced or relocated in their city or township.
- Capital funds allocated for early childhood; pre-K to provide Districts the opportunity to remodel, restructure or construct space for the programs.
- Funding for transportation for rural school districts (State funding or local levy options)
- Look at the teacher licensure system in Minnesota for Post – Secondary Education Options in the high schools and allowance for Early Childhood education certification for elementary teachers.
- Re-structuring of the IRRRB that will provide long term protection of the DJJ fund, provide for elected officials to oversee the utilization of Range tax dollars from Taconite Taxes.
- Backfill the shortage in the taconite revenue to our cities, townships and schools by adjusting the formula from another revenue stream (fund) to help with the 3 year averaging formula.
- Continue to advocate for economic development in the region, including mining, forestry, tourism and other ventures for Northeastern MN.Support for collaborative projects such as the East Range Joint Powers water extension and the West Range Sewer project.
- Funding for completion of Highway 169 to complete 4 lanes of traffic from highway 65 to Coleraine.