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St. Paul hires lobbyist Katie Knutson to help push legislative agenda

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has added Katie Knutson to the city’s lobbying team as the 2014 legislative session nears.

Knutson joins Government Relations head J.D. Burton on the city’s lobbying team; they’ll advocate for bonding money to help pay for major city projects when the session opens next month.

Knutson, who will start Monday, has been a lobbyist for the Minnesota Department of Human Services; before that she lobbied for AARP and the Minnesota-based law firm Winthrop and Weinstine.

The focus of much of the city’s legislative agenda will be bonding projects. Some of the priorities that the mayor and city council will push:

  •  Minnesota Children’s Museum Expansion — $14 million
  •  Como Park Transportation Access & Circulation Improvements — $8.9 million
  • The Historic Palace Theater Renovations — $6 million
  • Twin Cities Public Television Renovations / Media Public Commons — $9 million
  • Regional Public Safety Facility in Saint Paul — $6.5 million
  • Great River Passage Environmental Learning Center (Design) — $1.56 million
  •  Como Zoo Habitat Preservation Exhibit Renovation — $13.83 million
  •  Dorothy Day ReVision: Emergency Shelter and Connection Center — $18 million

Many of those are still on the list from previous years, but the Palace Theater and Dorothy Day projects are new this year.

The city also will work at the Legislature for transportation investments, more Legacy money for parks and trails, emerald ash borer mitigation and youth job corps  funding, said Joe Campbell of Coleman’s staff.

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