Local legislators Sen. Ron Latz and Rep. Ryan Winkler were the sponsors of bridge collapse victim compensation bills in the Senate and House, respectively.
Then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the legislation into law on May 8, 2008, which allocated $37 million to 179 people.
Now, five years after the collapse, Latz offered his reflections:
The most important reflection is the human loss that endures today mostly for the families who lost loved ones and for those who survived the collapse and will live forever with the physical and psychological impact of it.
Second, it is a reminder that failing to adequately fund infrastructure has consequences – when we make budget cuts there are real impacts on services like inspection frequency and repairs. This is an important function that government provides to its citizens, and for government to provide it citizens must pay for it.
Ryan and I were in a position to take the legislative lead in providing prompt and certain compensation for the survivors and the families of those who died.