For more information contact: Gina Kunesh 651-296-5526
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
The pace is picking up with less than a week to go until we are constitutionally required to adjourn on May 22. In the first year of a new biennium, our primary objective is to pass a two year state budget. Under state law, the Governor must present a three part state budget to the legislature; Part one is a budget message, part two a detailed operating budget and part three a capital expenditures (bonding) budget in even-numbered years. Governor Dayton has fulfilled his lawful duty by doing this; he released his budget proposal in March, his targets shortly thereafter and even provided a detailed bonding bill toward the beginning of the 2017 legislative session (due in part to the lack of passage of a bonding bill last year).
Last week, Republicans walked away from negotiations with Governor Dayton. The governor warned he would veto the inadequate Republican budget bills with over 609 objectionable policy language provisions, but they moved ahead nevertheless. Throughout resumed negotiations, Governor Dayton has presented compromises. He has also requested to see the specific reductions in cut areas that the GOP desires, but that request has gone unanswered. Establishing a budget is our primary responsibility for this Session. Policy bills effectively follow the budget.
Veto Letters from Governor Dayton:
As promised, Gov. Dayton vetoed the budget bills. Below is a link to the bill, and the Governor’s veto letter outlining his reasons for taking this action. His letters are a good resource for explaining why each bill is inadequate and needs improvement.
Real ID Update
The Real ID bill passed in the House today. The bill creates two options for Minnesotans: obtain an enhanced Real ID compliant driver’s license with proof of lawful residence in the U.S., or a license or ID card that is non-compliant with Real ID requirements. The good news is that the controversial immigration language was removed from the bill, and when this becomes law, you can get a Real ID at any location across the state. I’ve been ready to support a clean bill all session and was happy to vote yes.
As your state representative, I do my best to represent our community at the Capitol by working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to set a fair budget; one that relies on targeted and sensible tax cuts, adequate education funding and a goal of a commitment for a better future for all Minnesotans. We will continue over the next few days to reach a compromise budget that provides efficiency and accountability.
Please keep in touch in these last few days of session. I appreciate your input.