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Minnesota bill moves forward to name a stretch of Hwy. 5 for Prince

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Minnesota legislators were gathered to get through this bill called House File 717.

“Dearly beloved,” Rep. Lucy Rehm began her testimony last week, two words that have become synonymous for Minnesotans with one man: Prince Rogers Nelson.

The DFL legislator was presenting her bill in the House transportation committee to name a stretch of Hwy. 5 in Chanhassen after the pop icon, who lived and worked in the community before his death of an accidental drug overdose in 2016.

Lawmakers have debated the bill for several sessions, after supporters realized the part of the highway leading up to Paisley Park — Prince’s former home and studio — was already named after former state Sen. Augie Mueller. Transportation officials worked with his family to agree to rename a small portion of the Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.

The process is drenched in symbolism for a man who changed his name to a symbol. The dedication would stretch 7 miles. The number seven is everywhere in Prince’s music and he was born on June 7.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation also agreed to make the sign purple — his signature color — instead of the brown background typically used.

The legislation, sponsored by GOP Sen. Julia Coleman in that chamber, is nearing floor votes.

Minnesota bill moves forward to name a stretch of Hwy. 5 for Prince

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