For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
With only four days left in the legislative session, the budget negotiations between Republican leaders and Governor Dayton have stalled. As you may have read, Governor Dayton vetoed the Republican budget bills sent to him after the first halt in negotiations. Then last night after Dayton made a budget offer that would have moved him half way toward the Republican position, even losing many of his budget priorities, the Republicans refused to budge on their demands - big tax cuts for the wealthy and a transportation plan that raids funding from other areas of the state budget.
You can read the Governor’s detailed reasoning behind his veto, and why the first bills were wrong for Minnesota in the links below.
Any attempt to finish the work of this 2017 session on time is looking increasingly bleak, even from a logistical standpoint. One of the key sticking points in negotiations is the Republican leaders' insistence on advancing more than 600 policy changes that are unacceptable to the Governor. I ask you to please consider calling or emailing these Republican legislative leaders to urge them to focus on negotiating our state’s budgets – NOT on divisive policy provisions:
Speaker Kurt Daudt (651-296-5399 and firstname.lastname@example.org)
Leader Paul Gazelka (651-296-5774 and email@example.com)
Real ID Compromise Passes
A compromise Real ID bill passed the House yesterday. The Minnesota Public Radio story on the vote can be read here. The bill creates two options for Minnesotans: either obtain an enhanced Real ID compliant driver’s license with proof of lawful residence in the U.S., or get a license or ID card that is non-compliant with Real ID requirements. Thankfully, we were finally successful in removing the language related to denying immigrant driver’s licenses from the bill. So we still have additional work to do to ensure that all drivers have access to a driver’s license and car insurance, no matter their immigrant status. When the Governor signs Real ID and it becomes law, you can get it at any location across the state.
Budget Negotiations & Vetoed Republican Budget Bills
Last night when budget negotiations completely broke down between Republican leaders and Governor Dayton, the Governor summarized the Republican priorities in the same way many of their vetoed budget bills could be described:
Mark Dayton: “It is going to be real money and it is going to come out of the real pockets of real Minnesotans, who are elderly, who are disabled, who are down and out. They are going take away services and dollars for them. Same thing for nursing homes, same thing for personal care attendants, same thing for education, special education, pre-kindergarten. All these things they are going to cut, for them they are numbers on a piece of paper. For us they are real people. They are real Minnesotans.”
I wholeheartedly agree, and I encourage you to listen to Governor Dayton’s full remarks here. He offered to meet Republican leaders half way, and he will need our support to continue standing strong for Minnesotans.
The Republican majority’s plan would have done harm to thousands of people in our state with their very reckless budget, which I described in an update earlier this month. I'm glad that Governor Dayton did veto these bills.
The Governor's reasoning is provided in the veto letters below:
Capitol Renovation Reception
I am planning a reception and final session report for residents of our district along with Rep. Susan Allen sometime in June. We will finalize those details once the work of this session has been completed. The newly renovated, painted, and more accessible Capitol building is truly a state treasure, and I want you all to get a chance to see it and claim it as yours. The final touches are being added to the construction work now, and the Green Line LRT stops almost right at the doors!
Marriage Equality Anniversary
Last week we celebrated the fourth anniversary of marriage equality in Minnesota! You can see a photo of our LGBT Legislators group below and read the release I sent here.
Stay in Touch
You can always contact me if you have questions or concerns at 651-296-0294 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
State Representative – District 62A
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