ST. PAUL—Rep. Erik Simonson received the First Term Legislator of the Year Award from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) July 25 during the Coalition's three-day summer conference in Bemidji.
The award recognizes a first-term rural legislator who has gone above and beyond in his or her advocacy on behalf of Greater Minnesota.
Rep. Simonson, a Democrat from Duluth, emerged as a strong advocate for Greater Minnesota during the 2013 Legislative Session.
He was instrumental in helping to organize Greater Minnesota legislators to fight for local government aid (LGA), expanded economic development programs and a fair and balanced transportation funding package.
He also served as the House author of the CGMC's bill to make the Angel Investment Tax Credit work better for Greater Minnesota and as a co-author of the LGA reform bill.
"Rep. Simonson quickly proved himself an astute strategist and excellent negotiator" said Bruce Ahlgren, president of the CGMC and mayor of Cloquet. "His advocacy for Greater Minnesota – both in the House Tax Committee and with his caucus colleagues – makes him a distinct choice for 'First Term Legislator of the Year.'"
CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 85 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.