District 24 State Senator John Jasinski of Faribault told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today he is frustrated by the continued extension of Governor Walz's COVID emergency powers.

Jasinski told us he recently got a "not so nice letter" from a constituent about his statements concerning the Governor's power.  He said the letter stated, "You should be listening to your boss and following the Governor's rules.  Again the Governor is not our boss.  We are co-equal branches of government and the mentality of a lot of people out there is that the Governor is our boss and we should listen to him.  That is not the case.  We want our input heard.  We want the citizens of District 24 in Faribault, Owatonna and Waseca voices to be heard and that's not happening right now."

Jasinski added treating COVID-19 the same in the metropolitan area and outstate Minnesota doesn't make sense, "Downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul are different than downtown Faribault and downtown Waseca. We want our voices to be heard as far as what our needs are in rural and greater Minnesota.  We're frustrated we aren't getting that through the Governor."

The budget is the biggest order of business for the State Legislature this year and COVID-19 will spill into this session also.  Jasinski is Vice-Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and was scheduled to have a meeting this afternoon with the State Transportation Commissioner.

I asked if he was going to lobby her about the County Road 9 Interchange the City of Faribault has been hoping for and he replied, "I've got a bill being drafted as I've done before so we'll try and get that to move forward.  It's something I've been working on since I was mayor."

Jasinski explained, "I've had discussions with the District 6 Highway Engineer for MnDot on some possibilities of how we do that with possibly some realignments with Highway 3.  Bring Highway 3 up through County Road 9 instead of bringing it around through town there.  Obviously the end of Highway 3 is at 20th Street and Highway 21.  Bring it out to the interchange and the interstate would be a good goal. So we'll look at that and other options for getting that done."

"My main concern (with his bill) is getting the study done to determine the feasability and design work  so we can get ahead of the game and do some land acquisition out there before the city grows."

Jasinski says their top job this session is balancing the approximately 50 billion dollar budget with a projected 1.3 billion dollar deficit.  He agrees with Senate Finance Committee Chair Julie Rosen who has suggested a 5 percent across the board cut in each department budget.

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