For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
The winter weather is definitely here now! There are so many wonderful things to enjoy this time of the year. I hope you’ll get out with family and friends to take part in the many holiday traditions in our community.
I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season! Hanukkah started on Tuesday, Christmas is fast approaching, and then we begin a brand new year. There’s a lot to celebrate, and I hope it will be filled with quality time with the ones you love.
Minnesota is Best Run State in U.S.A.
It’s no surprise to us how great Minnesota is, and this week we were ranked among the top in so many areas that USA Today named us the Best-Run State in the Nation. The study “highlights Minnesota’s strong fiscal management, low unemployment and poverty rates, above-average median household income, and strong credit rating.”
Since ranking 10th in 2012, Minnesota has consistently climbed in the same study under Governor Dayton’s leadership on better government reforms. According to the comparisons with other states, Minnesota’s level of government services are good and the size of our government very lean, and a majority of Minnesotans surveyed said they were satisfied with the value they receive from state government.
We should all take pride in that and make improving on the things we value a high priority!
November Budget Forecast
Even though the news about our state ranking is great, earlier this month we got news about our state budget that was not so great. Minnesota Management and Budget announced the November budget forecast, projecting a deficit of $188 million ($302 million when the full budget is passed). What’s worse – the deficit is set to grow over the next few years to $586 million.
Going into the 2017 session, Minnesota had a $1.6 billion budget surplus. In less than a year, the irresponsible Republican budget plan turned that surplus into a deficit due in part to tax cuts for corporations like big tobacco and the wealthy. This is unacceptable.
Text to 9-1-1
Minnesotans are now able to text 9-1-1 for help. Law enforcement still encourages people to call 911 when possible, but this new technology offers a text option. This will be incredibly important for people with hearing and speech disabilities, as well as in situations where it may be unsafe to make an audible phone call, such as in cases of domestic violence or sex trafficking. The Pioneer Press put together a nice “how-to” for texting to 9-1-1.
Reminder: Heating Assistance and Cold Weather Rule
As a reminder, the burden of heating bills can be too much to bear for some families, and no one deserves to be left in the cold. For those Minnesotans under certain income levels, help may be available for payment of energy bills, help with utility disconnections or fuel deliveries, and advocacy with power companies and human service providers. For more information please visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s website here.
The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule is now also in effect, which protects residential utility customers from having their heat shut off during the winter months. More information is available from the Public Utilities Commission here.
As always, it’s an honor to represent you and the values of our community at the Capitol.
No image galleries found