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State Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein

303 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4331

For more information contact: Erik Anderson 651-296-5318

Posted: 2017-05-23
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - May 23rd, 2017


Dear Friends and Neighbors

 

I tidied up my desk on the House floor yesterday, returned plants from my office to my home, made an appointment for today; readying myself to return to school to finish out the school year. I should have known not to plan too far ahead with this unpredictable 2017 legislative session - at 12:01 am this morning  Governor Dayton called for a Special Session to finish the business for Minnesota.

 

In spite of five months of budget reviews in committee meetings, 70% of the budget - education, health & human services, state government, transportation, taxes, bonding - still have not been approved. With a state budget surplus of $1.65 billion, failure to finish on time shows the poor leadership by Republicans that we have seen throughout this session. An important - certainly doable - outcome of this session was to maintain a structurally balanced budget. Unfortunately, I am concerned that Minnesota’s long-term budget outlook is in serious danger of deficits as Republicans have refused to right-size their tax cuts for big tobacco, corporations, and the wealthy.

 

Rather than invest in what Minnesotans value and what strengthens our state’s economy, Republican budgets negotiations have shown us their priorities: corporations and the very wealthy. Their must-pass budget bills contained a litany of controversial policy provisions from pre-K elimination to preemption (taking away sick time from 150,000 Minnesotans), none of which are in line with Minnesota values. These policies are the reason this session didn’t finish on time as Governor Dayton, my fellow DFLers and I push back.

 

Minnesotans expect the legislature to get its work done on time. After days of early arrivals, waiting for word of agreements and a night on my office couch, I showed up ready to complete my assignment to represent the best interests of our communities of St. Anthony, New Brighton, Hilltop and Columbia Heights. Instead, my fellow DFLers spent hours of wait time ready to add sense and balance to education, transportation, health care and worker’s protections. Once again, final deals were made by a select few, void of transparency, leaving out the best interest of the working class in their final product time and time again.

 

The Special Session resumed today (Tuesday) at 3 p.m., we could easily go until it expires at 7 a.m.Wednesday morning. At least the flowers are blooming at the Capitol.

 

 

Thank you to all who continue to share their concerns and viewpoints. I appreciate your encouragement and support.


All the best,

 

Mary

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