Minnesota lawmakers drafting bills to rename highway for Prince

Minnesota lawmakers drafting bills to rename highway for Prince
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Two state lawmakers in Minnesota are drafting legislation to rename part of a state highway in honor of Prince, the Minnesota-born music superstar who died in 2016.

The Star Tribune reported Monday that the GOP lawmakers are in the process of writing a pair of bills that would alter part of state Highway 5 in Chanhassen, renaming it Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.

Supporters told the newspaper that two bills were necessary due to that stretch of highway already having been designated Augie Mueller Memorial Highway, in memory of a Minnesota state senator. Supporters are hoping that a few miles of Augie Mueller Memorial Highway can be renamed, with the permission of Mueller's family.

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"We don't want the whole highway," said Mark Webster, a longtime friend of Prince's who is supporting the legislative push. "We just want 2 to 3 miles."

"He is a favorite son on this side of the metro," state Rep. Greg Boe (R), one sponsor of the bills, told the Tribune. "Chanhassen is proud to have him in the community. There are a lot of fans of his music."

If passed, the bill would allow Prince's family and friends to erect signs on the stretch of road, likely at least one on each side, bearing his name. Two signs cost about $2,000, and funds are raised by those who request they be placed.

The 57-year-old music legend died in 2016 after an accidental overdose. His death at the time drew national attention to the opioid abuse crisis, in particular due to Prince's use of the synthetic opiate fentanyl.