Just three months after riding his campaign to election in the Minnesota House with a focus on education funding reform and improved transportation along the Interstate 94 corridor in northern Wright County, House 30B Rep. Eric Lucero has introduced a pair of bills in the Minnesota Legislature.
Working with fellow District 30 legislator Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer and the St. Michael-Albertville School District, Lucero first introduced a bill to address education funding inequities in the districts surrounding metropolitan Minnesota.
In his notice to constituents, Lucero wrote:
I submitted my first Bill today (Monday) related to Equity in Education Funding!
I am the Chief Author in the House of a Bill which moves us closer to closing the disparity in State funding of K-12 education between school districts. State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer is the Chief Author of the companion Bill in the Senate.
As a member of the Education Innovation Policy Committee, I look forward to my Bill coming to the committee I sit on for a hearing.
Equity in Education Funding is an issue many rural legislators such as myself repeatedly heard during the campaign. Many out-state school districts are on the short end of the stick regarding comparative State funding of education.
Later, Lucero introduced a bill to expand Interstate 94 to three lanes from Highway 241 in St. Michael to Wright County 19 in Albertville, or the Albertville Premium Outlets exit. Lucero’s bill has a companion written by Kiffmeyer in the Senate, and rides on the Corridors of Commerce funding appropriated by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to fund a multi-million study into that same expansion in 2015.
He wrote: I submitted my second bill yesterday! The bill will expand I-94 by adding a third lane between Highway 241 in Saint Michael to County Road 19 in Albertville. State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer submitted the companion bill in the Senate yesterday.
Construction crews are already working to expand the interstate from Highway 101 in Rogers to Highway 241 in St. Michael this year, something that was also funded by the state’s Corridors of Commerce program.
Lucero is also working with Kiffmeyer, he said, to incorporate St. Michael-Albertville School District 885 into the “Metropolitan School District” category as defined by the Minnesota Department of Education. Though a bill hasn’t been submitted, Lucero wrote in an update that changing this definition, with the assistance of the district and the St. Michael-Albertville Excellence in Education Committee, would set the district up for more state funding in the future, closing the inequity gap that exists now for District 885, one of the lowest funded in the state.