For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499
Neighbors and Friends,
When the regular legislative session ended, 70% of the major budget bills were unresolved including education, health and human services, and state government finance. A proposed package of tax legislation also stalled, as did a bonding bill to address infrastructure needs statewide.
In our special session, the remainder of the budget bills were passed, although many contained controversial provisions. In past years, the legislature usually followed the practice of not including policy in budget bills. Committees tended to have both a policy bill and a budget bill. This year was the worst I ever experienced as budget bills had more pages devoted to policy than to funding. This practice also breaks the constitutional single issue rule, that a bill should deal only with a single issue that is identified in the title to assure that everyone can easily identify the purpose of a bill. Sen. Marty is working on this unacceptable legislative practice so I am sure we will talk much more about this issue.
The current leadership in Minnesota reflects what’s happening in Washington, D.C.: unwillingness to compromise and consistent blame. The special session was necessary, in part, due to poor time management.
Gov. Dayton signed the budget bills, so we will not risk a government shutdown. Many of these bills are devastating; a tax bill we can’t afford that will have long-term ramifications, spending cuts that hurt Minnesota and bad policy that hurts people.
The one bright spot is passage of the bonding bill that invests in many needed infrastructure projects in all corners of the state. Dozens of Minnesota communities have been waiting to begin their wastewater, higher education and affordable housing projects and the governor’s signature on the bill assures they can begin.
Save the Date: State Capitol Grand Opening
After four years and a $310 million restoration, the Minnesota State Capitol is now open to the public. Our beautiful Capitol has been returned to its former glory and is ready for the next 100 years.
To invite Minnesotans back to the People’s House, there will be a Grand Opening Celebration on August 11, 12, and 13. The celebration will have something for everyone – fireworks, concerts, demonstrations by the artisans that worked on the restoration, behind the scenes tours, and much more. With featured events to entertain Minnesotans of all ages from all corners of the state, the Grand Opening weekend will be educational, interactive and fun. Most of the events are free, or offered at a very low cost.
Please mark your calendars and plan to celebrate the People’s House this August.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
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