Rep. Dan Schoen Viewpoint: Budget proposal a road map; other bills moving alongOther bills concern spinal cord injuries, honoring fallen police officer
By: Rep. Dan Schoen, South Washington County Bulletin
Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget has dominated the first four weeks of the 2013 legislative session. It is a good road map as we move ahead with the process. I am pleased to see that the governor wants to make long-overdue investments in education — early childhood education, K-12 schools and higher education. I support property tax relief for both homeowners and small businesses.
But while the budget is sucking most of the air out of the room, I’m also working on smaller bills that are important to the folks in my district and across the state of Minnesota.
Most of us know the story of Jack Jablonski, the high school hockey player who became paralyzed from the chest down after a hit in a game in 2010. His courageous fight to restore feeling to his leg and return to the life he left behind that night has captivated the entire country.
Gabe Rodreick may not have the fame of Jack, but his story is equally amazing. He became a quadriplegic after a diving accident the summer before his junior year in high school. A musician, his dream is to be able to play the piano again.
More than 10,000 Minnesotans suffer traumatic brain injuries each year, 300 people per year sustain spinal cord injuries.
That’s why I’ve signed on to the Jablonski/Rodreick Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Grant Program. Jack, Gabe, their families and many medical experts believe that the road to rehabilitation lies in treatments that are in the process of being discovered. This bill would provide $8 million to researchers who study spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
The state often pays for the long-term care associated with spinal and brain injuries, so it makes sense that the state would be a partner in finding a cure for these conditions.
Another bill that I’m supporting is the Tom Decker Highway Bill. Tom was the Cold Spring/Richmond police officer who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 29, 2012. This bill would rename Hwy. 23 from the east border of the township of Wakefield to the west border of the city of Richmond in his honor.
Officer Decker lost his life in the line of duty, making the ultimate sacrifice to the people he had sworn to protect. As a police officer myself, I feel this is the least I can do to honor my fallen brother.
I am so honored to serve you in the Legislature. The trust you placed in me in November is valued, and I never lose sight of who my bosses are: the residents of District 54A.
Please feel free to contact me with your questions, suggestions and concerns. My office is room 533 in the State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4342 and by email at email@example.com. You can also monitor activities at the House, track bills, watch live video and sign up for my email update list by going to http://www.house.mn.
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