The Hanson Boulevard railroad bridge officially opened August 4. This four lane bridge will help improve traffic flow for all residents, and especially improve the response time of first-responders. Senator Newton worked across parties lines to achieve this project and got the state to cover 50 percent of the costs through the bonding bill passed in 2017, which was signed by Governor Dayton.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on August 4 and Speaker of the Minnesota House Melissa Hortman had this to say at the ceremony:
"This crossing had one of the highest potential rates for crashes to occur in the state due to the high traffic and high volume of trains. Trains would block the crossing from six to eight minutes, sometimes as much as 25 minutes... We needed our first responders to be able to get thorough to deal with health emergencies when people needed them to be there... This is a good example of how projects get done, people work together, they stick to it, and they keep at it even when it doesn't look like it's going to be successful."
Senator Newton had this to say at the ceremony.
The arrival of COVID-19 upended business as usual in our country and world. This was no different for the Senate, where for the first time in our history we allowed remote voting
and conducted virtual committee hearings. Though certain priorities got tangled in partisan disputes, the DFL-controlled House, GOP-controlled Senate, and Governor Walz worked together to pass legislation and policies protecting the health and wellbeing of Minnesotans in our response to this crisis.
As we passed relief measures, it became clear that we must eliminate cost barriers to testing for COVID-19. I would like to see the costs of testing be waived by health care providers, ensuring Minnesotans who needed a test
would get one. We also passed relief for small businesses. This included loans totaling $30 million for businesses directly impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Order and another $10 million to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 but do not qualify for an Small Business Administration disaster assistance loan.
We also passed a second round of emergency small business relief for businesses during Special Session, providing $62.5 million in targeted grants for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Some of the money was allocated for people of color, women, or veteran owned businesses as well.
Senator Jerry Newton.