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ENEWS: MN Infrastructure Report Card, plus more legislative updates

Date Published: 04/28/2022

Author: Erin Wilson

American Society of Civil Engineers gives MN a C for infrastructure 

ASCE’s 2022 Minnesota Infrastructure Report Card, released earlier this week, gave the state a C GPA for infrastructure. 

“Much of Minnesota’s infrastructure is aging and reaching the end of its expected lifespan. The majority of our systems were built in the late 20th century, before much of today’s modern technology was developed. New materials, expanded environmental awareness, and increased regulation require improvements to water treatment plants and updates to the energy grid,” the report card summary reads. “The past two years, especially, have shown us how fragile our systems have become. Our infrastructure systems of decades ago need upgrading to better meet and prepare for current and future climate trends, increased use of renewable fuels, a changing population, and an evolving economy.”

Out of the ten categories evaluated, the state’s roads received the lowest grade of a D+, WDIO reported. Evaluations were given based on capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation, the article said. 

More legislative updates

The Minnesota Senate passed a $200 million public safety bill on Monday with a vote of 48-19, one which would increase funding for local law enforcement agencies and ask for an increase in officers, the Duluth News Tribune reported. Senate Democrats, who proposed a $500 million public safety bill but were unable to get the votes to pass it, said the Republican proposal “didn't do enough to prevent causes of crime and disagreed that harsher penalties would deter violent crime in Minnesota.” The article said that the Senate measure “is expected to move next to a conference committee, where legislators from the House and Senate will attempt to draft a compromise bill that can appease both chambers.” In the House, Democrats proposed a $150 million public safety bill that would aim to address root causes of violent crime with tactics such as diversion programs for juvenile offenders and allowing community groups to work on violence prevention. 

TRUE Tuesday on May 17 

The next TRUE Tuesday session will take place on May 17 from 2:30-4 p.m. It will center on “The Fight for Sovereignty,” and feature ​​attorney and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe member Aarik Robertson as a speaker. The session aims to increase understanding of the impact of federal government policy on Indigenous tribes as well as the history of the relationship between tribes and the federal government. You can read the event description and register at this link. 

Equity Map Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on the Initiative Foundation of Central Minnesota. Read the full story on the Equity Map and follow our social media for more story summaries! Please add more stories by filling out this form if you or your organization/initiative would like to be featured on the map! 

The Initiative Foundation of Central Minnesota serves 14 counties and over 750,000 Minnesota residents. They work to strengthen and promote the region’s economy and culture by connecting people with organizations in their communities, focusing on specific areas of need, and providing strategic funding, grants, technical assistance, and training opportunities. An example of one of the Initiative Foundation’s programs is their Enterprise Academy, which gives tools, training, lending, and one-on-one mentoring to local entrepreneurs. They also have a Business Financing program, which aims to diversify the local economy. Read their story on the map and find their website at www.ifound.org. (Story written by David Ayers-Moran). 

Quote: 

“Minnesota must support innovative policies leading to cleaner water distribution, more modality between transportation systems, and a safe and healthy environment that will attract business and improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans.” —ASCE 2022 Minnesota Infrastructure Report Card 


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