Schmit named ‘Legislator of Distinction’ Again
June 30, 2016 — Senator Schmit was recognized for the third year in a row as a “Legislator of Distinction” by the League of Minnesota Cities for his work promoting the expansion of broadband Internet connectivity to areas of rural Minnesota that lack access. Schmit is one of three Senators to receive the award in both 2015 and 2016, and one of two to be recognized three years in a row.
“All Minnesotans should be able to connect and compete in a 21st century digital economy, and this recognition highlights the need for better connectivity,” Sen. Schmit said. “We all have a stake in making sure that Minnesota is a leader in broadband access and utilization.”
Border-to-Border Broadband fund invests in rural Goodhue County
June 27, 2016 — Senator Matt Schmit joined residents of Goodhue County and representatives from New Ulm-based NU-Telecom as they celebrated breaking ground on a “fiber to the farm” broadband deployment in rural Goodhue County on Monday, June 27.
“It’s nice to see our broadband efforts make a real difference so close to home in Goodhue County,” Sen. Schmit said. “Broadband connectivity – in this case, ‘fiber to the farm’ – is the great equalizer for Greater Minnesota, enabling expansion of home-based business, distance learning, telemedicine, and precision agriculture. This represents critical infrastructure investment in the 21st century.”
Schmit endorsed for Senate District 21
May 24, 2016 — “State Senator Matt Schmit (Red Wing) received unanimous endorsement to build on his record of accomplishment in a second term for Senate District 21. ‘Serving our area in the state Senate and being a strong voice for rural Minnesota has been a great honor and worthy challenge,’ Schmit said. ‘I look forward to continuing the Senate’s responsible stewardship of the state budget and to focusing renewed attention on the needs of Greater Minnesota – including vital infrastructure, affordable health care, and quality education and job training.'” Download Press Release
Session produces clear wins for Minnesota
May 27, 2016 — “The state Senate continued its run of honest, strategic budgeting. We promoted a balanced approach of targeted tax cuts, smart investment, and stronger reserves. We left Minnesota and our state budget in much better condition than we found it. After all, four short years ago this state Senate entered office facing billion-dollar deficits, an unpaid school funding shift, and runaway property taxes. And our state’s political climate was at an all-time low following entrenched budget impasses and a pair of state government shutdowns.
Four years later, we have produced real results for hard-working families, strengthening our rural communities and quality of life. We’ve invested in education and infrastructure, promoted economic growth and a healthier environment, and returned a steady hand to state budgeting.” Full Article
Balanced approach sought for budget and investment
May 11, 2016 — “After all our state has been through over the past 15 years, the worst thing this Legislature could do is turn Minnesota’s projected surplus into a deficit. And that’s where the Senate will draw the line. Proposals to cut $2 billion in taxes and drain the general fund dry through ongoing new spending — even for roads and bridges — are short-sighted and unsustainable.” Full Article
Cautious optimism at legislative session midpoint
April 8, 2016 — “At the state Senate, we’ve spent the past month on priorities important to Minnesotans: discussing how to make health care more affordable, targeting attention to the needs of our rural schools and property tax payers, addressing the lingering uncertainty over Real ID and focusing on essential infrastructure – such as broadband Internet access, transportation funding and capital investment around the state.
This Legislature has a real chance to build on three straight years of smart investment and fiscal responsibility. I’m optimistic we can continue that trend.” Full Article
Transportation needs bipartisan tradeoffs
February 24, 2016 — “As children, we’re taught we cannot have everything we want. As adults, we tend toward a mature appreciation for the tradeoffs that exist in everyday life. After all, we can skip exercise or forego a healthy diet — but we can’t expect to do both and keep our weight down or our cholesterol in check. More of one thing often results in less of another.
That basic lesson of tradeoffs seems to be lacking when we consider discussions of taxes and transportation finance waging in anticipation of the 2016 legislative session. We can tap our state budget surplus for transportation, or we can pursue significant tax cuts — but we can’t do either to extreme or both in tandem without seriously damaging our state budget health.” Full Article
Finding a cure for Minnesota’s health finance woes
January 13, 2016 — “It was important for providers and carriers, regulators and policymakers, to all hear firsthand the challenges faced by residents in our area. Just as important, it’s critical that we all understand the complexities and tradeoffs inherent to health care and coverage in the United States. We have the world’s best technology and treatment, but the cost for coverage let alone care is already prohibitively expensive for far too many.” Full Article
Health insurance summit coming to Red Wing
November 9, 2015 — “Sen. Matt Schmit is hosting a follow-up Southeast Health Policy Summit 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday Nov. 16 in the St. James Hotel. The first summit on health insurance and premium affordability featuring representatives from state and local agencies was held last month in Cannon Falls.
The summit will include officials from Mayo Clinic, the health insurance industry, MNsure and Minnesota departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services for a discussion and to field questions from the audience.” Full Article
Creative solutions needed for Minnesota’s rural roads
November 9, 2015 — “The opening of the new interchange at Highway 52 and Goodhue County Road 9 is certainly cause for celebration. Those of us who travel the corridor on a regular basis know how dangerous that area has been. Virtually all residents of southeastern Minnesota will be served by this much-needed infrastructure improvement.
While there has been plenty of credit to be shared — and rightfully so, I can’t get over the simple question: What took so long? And just as important: Why did an appropriate solution come about only after multiple design iterations and an exhaustingly desperate appeal to the Minnesota Department of Transportation from area residents and elected officials?” Full Article