MN Legislators Offer Hope on Road to Recovery

By KBJR News 1

July 2, 2012 Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM CDT

Thomson, MN (The Northland's NewsCenter) - State lawmakers say they chose Thomson as the location to address the Northland because it epitomizes the hardships of the recent tragedy.

"It so symbolizes what some of the hardest hardships are for people, and that is to be without water, or to be without sewage, and to be so isolated from emergency services," said Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon.

For some, it's been a loss too great for words.

State officials claimed that a major priority driving their tour was the need to fully understand the extent of the damage, so that legislation can fight for the appropriate funding on a federal level.

"We need your help. This community is pulling together, and it's working hard together, but there's only so much that we can do alone. So, we really need the legislature's help," said Prettner Solon.

...but much is still needed—including figures from the Works Progress Administration, and FEMA—before officials say Governor Dayton would call a special legislative session to work toward passing a funding bill.

A legislative task force is in discussion to speed up the process.

"...so that when FEMA does deliver their response, much of the work of the legislature will already be done, ready to be executed," said Senate Minority Leader Thomas Bakk.

Federal funding aside, officials also ensured the community that the state will be there throughout the recovery process.

"The state is going to stand with Duluth, and Northeastern Minnesota, because that's what we do in times of trial and test," proclaimed Senate Majority Leader David Senjem.

And, while officials say the visit is going to help them in the legislative process, they also wanted to remind Northlanders that the recovery will make them stronger.

"...and, you will find that your community will be a better place. As painful as it is, you will rise out of this, and there will be a better day—not only for Thomson, but this entire area," said Senjem.

...messages of hope on the road to recovery.

Lawmakers say their greatest concern, at this point, is misinformation, which could result in the drafting, and passing, of a funding bill that is inadequate for the situation.