Ecklund targets rural broadband with funding bill

Rep. Rob Ecklund joins fellow House DFLers at a State Capitol press conference to unveil the “Minnesota Values Agenda.” As part of this, Rep. Ecklund will carry legislation investing in expanded broadband infrastructure.

NTERNATIONAL FALLS — State Rep. Rob Ecklund, DFL-International Falls, announced Tuesday that he is seeking re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November, and will again seek the DFL party endorsement. Ecklund is currently serving his third term representing District 3A in the House, which includes all or part of Cook, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties.

“When we work together, we can accomplish some great things for Minnesotans. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to build a better state for everyone, but there’s a great deal of work left in front of us,” Ecklund said in a statement. “I’m incredibly honored by the support I’ve received over the years from folks in our region, and I’ll work hard to earn it again this November.”

As Ecklund tells his story, he is a supporter of public education and has worked to increase investments in learning at all levels, including early childhood education opportunities and affordable higher education.

“He has worked to protect affordable, accessible health care, and supports efforts to tackle skyrocketing prescription drug prices,” according to the press release. “He has also supported targeted tax cuts, including the Working Family Tax Credit and in 2019, worked to deliver the first middle-class tax cut in a generation.

In Greater Minnesota, Ecklund has worked to boost investments in high-speed broadband infrastructure.

“Families, students and businesses all depend on this 21st-century technology, and in 2019, he successfully championed legislation to deliver $40 million in funding toward the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program over two years,” according to the press release. “He is also a strong advocate for northern Minnesota’s heritage including outdoor recreation opportunities like game and fish habitat, parks and trails, and economic opportunities through mining, forestry, tourism and emerging industries.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Ecklund serves as chair of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Division, and has supported initiatives to improve the lives of military veterans, service members, and their families.

His priorities include the Veteran’s Restorative Justice Act — which would expand Minnesota’s veteran’s courts. He has worked to eliminate veteran homelessness and increase job opportunities for veterans, including rewarding careers in skilled construction trades. Additionally, he has sought out initiatives addressing suicide among veterans and raising awareness about this growing epidemic.

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