For more information contact: Tyler Blackmon 651-296-8826
Last week I outlined my budget priorities. This week, I want to compare that to the budget priorities of other major players here at the State Capitol.
HOUSE MAJORITY BUDGET PRIORITIES
The current House majority has released their budget targets, which means they've revealed how much money they intend to invest in different areas of the budget (health care, education, transportation, etc.).
Despite the fact that we have a $1.65 billion surplus, they have proposed significantly underfunding education, making deep cuts to health and human services, and slashing the environment budget that provides us with clean water and clean energy.
Their budget also fails to prepare for the looming changes to our health care system coming from Congress that will put a $2 billion per year hole in our budget and force many Minnesotans off their health insurance.
Any budget decisions should put Minnesotans first and prepare for that uncertainty at the federal level. I'm ready to sit down with colleagues on both sides to negotiate a better deal for hard-working Minnesotans.
GOVERNOR'S SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET
After we learned that we had an even larger budget surplus than originally projected, Governor Dayton released his supplemental budget. That new budget anticipates the blow to the budget from Congress's new health care law by leaving more money in the Rainy Day Fund and invests more money in early childhood education. His full proposal can be found here.
PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) is a bipartisan group of lawmakers and ordinary Minnesotans who make funding recommendations to the legislature for projects that help maintain and enhance Minnesota's environment and natural resources.
Because this commission is citizen-driven, we typically accept their proposals because we trust them to tell us what Minnesotans need most. But in committee, the House majority voted down nearly a third of their recommendations - including solar energy research projects, environmental education for young people, and land acquisition for our public parks.
The most disappointing objection came when the current majority refused to acknowledge the existence of climate change. What kind of future are we leaving for our children and grandchildren if we can't even confront the truth of a changing climate?
I wish we had just listened to Minnesotans without playing politics.
VISITS AT THE CAPITOL
Thanks to the good folks of the Washington and Ramsey Soil and Water Boards for coming to visit me at my office this week. If you'd like to visit during the legislative session, I would encourage you to reach out to my legislative assistant to make an appointment.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. If you haven't already, follow me on Twitter and Facebook to get even more regular updates.
See you next week.
Rep. Peter Fischer