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Prettner Solon: State shouldn't wait for a bonding year

The Minnesota Legislature usually doesn't pass big bonding bills in odd years. But in her first high-profile speech in Duluth since becoming Minnesota's lieutenant governor, Yvonne Prettner Solon said Wednesday that a bonding bill is needed in 2011.

Yvonne Prettner Solon
Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, in her first Duluth speech since taking office, told the Greater Downtown Council on Wednesday that a bonding bill "now, when rates are low, is a good idea." (Photo by Dave Ballard)

The Minnesota Legislature usually doesn't pass big bonding bills in odd years.

But in her first high-profile speech in Duluth since becoming Minnesota's lieutenant governor, Yvonne Prettner Solon said Wednesday that a bonding bill is needed in 2011.

She agrees with Gov. Mark Dayton that "a bonding bill now, when rates are low, is a good idea," she said.

The comments came during Prettner Solon's keynote address to the hundreds gathered at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center for the Greater Downtown Council's annual dinner meeting.

She pointed to the recently opened Amsoil Arena and its economic impact as an example of what can be achieved when state and local governments team up.

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"We are better and stronger together than we are separate," she said.

Prettner Solon, who served as state senator from Duluth from 2002 to 2010, said it's important that the state continue those investments in communities.

"This kind of investment is helping to move Duluth forward," she said. "It's key to keeping communities strong."

That's especially true of downtown areas, she said.

"To revitalize cities, we can't forget main streets," she said. "When these areas are strong, the rest of the community is strong."

At the same time, she acknowledged that keeping that state commitment to investment is difficult during the current economy and when local governments are financially strapped.

She promised that the Northland will not be overlooked by the governor's office during their term.

"The governor and lieutenant governor serve the whole state, not just the seven-county metro area," she said. "The governor is committed that everyone gets the attention they deserve."

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She vowed to take an active role in the administration.

"I would not have left a job and city I love otherwise," she said.

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