State and city leaders prepare for State of the Union Address

The President is set to address Congress Tuesday night at the U.S. Capitol.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:48 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – We’re a day out from President Biden’s annual State of the Union Address. The President is set to address Congress Tuesday night at the U.S. Capitol.

Several state and city leaders will be attending the speech.

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton virtually attended the 2022 State of the Union, but this year, she’s flying out to Washington to witness the national event in person.

“It will be an exciting atmosphere. I’m looking forward to that and the place itself,” Mayor Norton said.

She was invited by First District Congressman Brad Finstad, who she previously worked with in the Minnesota legislature.

“It gives me certainly that firsthand opportunity and spending time with our congressmen is always as good idea, because they represent us,” Mayor Norton said.

She said she’s looking forward to hearing more on the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Bill, some of the new climate provisions and how President Biden plans to handle the debt ceiling.

“I’m really interested to hear whether he’ll address that. I assume he will and hope that the solution is bi-partisan and swift, so we don’t do anything to jeopardize our economy,” Mayor Norton said.

Every member of the U.S. Congress is invited to attend the address, including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar who is using the event to push some legislation aimed at protected burn pit victims.

“We make sure now that a number of health conditions are indicators that if you were stationed next to a burn pit, you need help, you need benefits, you need good health coverage,” Senator Klobuchar said.

She’s invited Amanda Barbosa whose husband developed stage four colon cancer after he was exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Without her and her caring heart, not just for her husband, but also for all our veterans, we wouldn’t have passed this bill. So she will be in the gallery, right there in the front for the state of the union,” Senator Klobuchar said.

“I’m incredibly humbled that veterans weigh so highly on her mind that of all the people she could invite that she chose me,” Barbosa said.

While Mayor Norton doesn’t have any legislation to push, she’s interested in monitoring federal funds that are up for grabs.

“The Biden Administration is making sure that money whether it be ARPA or CARES Act goes directly to cities,” she said.

Mayor Norton is taking off for D.C. early Tuesday morning to meet with Congressman Finstad and his staff. They will then all head over to the Capitol for the State of the Union at 8.

You’ll be able to watch the speech at 8 on KTTC.