For more information contact: Gina Vega 651-296-5526
The Minnesota Legislature has less than three weeks remaining in the 2016 session. Last week, three major finance bills passed in the House of Representatives. As mentioned in a previous e-update, each large bill contained the following budget subject areas: 1. Agriculture, Environment and Jobs; 2. Public Safety, Health and Human Services, and State Government Finance; and 3. Higher Education and E-12 Education.
I would like to take this opportunity to update you on a few other legislative issues of importance.
Next Generation Main Street Act Update
The small business proposal that originally contained 5 bills, has gained some traction in the Senate. The bill I chief authored as a part of the Next Generation Main Street Act ensures that every new Minnesota small business owner is provided information about the resources available to them to navigate regulatory requirements as well as potential development loans, grants and technical expertise. It has been included in the final Senate Jobs Bill, but was not in the House version. Senate and House conference committees will meet to negotiate on the differences within each body’s bill.
Minnesota’s Opportunity: Working Together to Transform Health Care
Health care policy has created intense partisan divide over the past 5 years. On Monday morning this week, I, along with a few DFL and GOP House and Senate colleagues attended a workshop entitled “Minnesota’s Opportunity: Working Together to Transform Health Care”. The event focused on how legislators on both sides of the aisle can come together to provide high quality and low cost health care, using the 2008 health care reform effort as a model. Current and former legislators participated and it featured Former Governor Tim Pawlenty as a keynote speaker.
Overall, the workshop was very informative and I was grateful to have had the opportunity to participate.
On Monday, the Minnesota Senate unveiled their bonding proposal. Much of their bill contains very specific projects across the state; approximately 33% of the funding is dedicated to transportation related projects.
The House Majority has established a $600 million target; roughly a third of the cost of what the Senate is proposing. This is one example of how the vast differences between the Senate and House are widening the gap on a possibility of coming to any sort of compromise. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do all that we can to pass an equitable transportation and tax bill for Minnesotans.
Please feel free to contact me on any issue important to you. I can be reached at 641-296-3533 or by email at email@example.com.
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