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Ruud, Gazelka receive Minnesota Legacy Award

The award is given upon retirement to legislators who had a particularly positive impact on Greater Minnesota cities during their legislative careers.

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Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service
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ST. PAUL— Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, and Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, were recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities with the Minnesota Legacy Award on July 28 during the Coalition’s three-day summer conference in Red Wing.

The award is given upon retirement to legislators who had a particularly positive impact on Greater Minnesota cities during their legislative careers.

Paul Gazelka
Paul Gazelka

Gazelka, a Republican from East Gull Lake, will conclude his tenure in the Legislature after his fifth term in the Minnesota State Senate. Both as a senator and as Senate Majority Leader, Gazelka showed a steadfast commitment to coalition priorities, particularly Local Government Aid and state investments in critical infrastructure, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities officials said in a news release, adding when passing legislation Gazelka always prioritized his constituents’ needs over partisan politics.

“Sen. Gazelka has been a strong, thoughtful leader for Greater Minnesota,” said Pat Baustian, mayor of Luverne and president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, in a news release. “Despite his busy schedule, he was always accessible and open to meeting with CGMC members and other city leaders. We appreciate his continual willingness to listen to our concerns and stand up for rural communities.”

Carrie Ruud
Carrie Ruud
Contributed

Ruud will conclude her tenure in the Legislature this year after serving 14 years in the Minnesota State Senate. As chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee, she was described by coalition officials as a powerful voice on Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities environmental issues, such as chloride regulations, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances monitoring, and wastewater permitting. As chair of the Senate Legacy Committee, coalition officials said she championed smart policies and authored a bill that provided fair and permanent funding for local parks and trails grant programs in Greater Minnesota.

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“Throughout her career, Sen. Ruud has been an inspiring advocate for Greater Minnesota and the environment,” Baustian said. “We are very grateful to have had such a dedicated, hardworking, and passionate voice for environmental issues at the Legislature.”

CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing over 100 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.

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