To the editor:
During last week’s special session, both the House and Senate passed a bonding bill that included more than $50 million in highway funds benefitting Rep. John Heinrich’s District. Unfortunately, it was passed without his support. The city of Ramsey, county of Anoka, Chamber of Commerce, the business community and residents had been working on obtaining these funds for years. These funds will kick start work or add to progress that has already been made on Highway 47, Sunfish Lake Boulevard and Ramsey Boulevard improvements, as well as other projects included in his district.
It is hard to understand Rep. Heinrich’s vote. Was his opposition based on party preference over the needs of his district? Or was he a puppet of the minority leader who also opposed the bill, and he isn’t strong enough to be independent? For years, Anoka County has gotten the short stick of highway money. This bonding bill was one of the greatest opportunities to obtain our fair share of the highway funds. If this bill would not have passed, it likely would have been decades more before we had another opportunity to jump start the road improvements needed for strong economic development and good transportation. Without highway funding and good roads, attracting businesses to Anoka County will remain difficult as we work to reverse the trend of our residents having to travel elsewhere to work.
There is no excuse for John Heinrich’s vote on the bonding bill. It was anti-business and anti-community. We expect better representation.
Editor’s note: Grimmer is the chair of 6th Congressional District DFL.