District 20B State Representative Todd Lippert of Northfield shared his vision for the upcoming state legislative session with members of the Rice County Board of Commissioners yesterday.

Lippert stated the 7.9 billion dollar surplus puts them in a unique position to address some Minnesota needs.  The DFL Pastor says using a portion of the surplus to address child care in his mind is a must...

Affordable housing is next on the Northfield legislator's priority list...

Lippert's third priority is weatherization...

County Commissioner Dave Miller asked Lippert if at least a portion of the surplus should be refunded to taxpayers.  Miller suggested for example each state taxpayer could receive a hundred dollars.  The Northfield state lawmaker replied he appreciates the idea.  However...

County Commissioners suggested using some of the surplus to fund more mental health beds in the region, fix bridges and provide an expansion of rail transportation in the region.

Commissioner Galen Malecha suggested municipalities should have the same opportunity counties have to impose a local option sales tax to help fund transportation projects.

Cities would need permission from the state to implement such a tax.

Some interesting information.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

As long as we are talking about weather here.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...