For more information contact: Leah Patton 651-296-9895
It is really beginning to feel like Christmas with a bit of snow on the ground! Here is a brief update regarding our projected budget surplus, and some transparency issues with the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority.
On Friday, the Minnesota Office of Management and Budget released the budget forecast, predicting that we will have a $1.4 billion surplus. My fellow Republican Caucus members and I will continue to push toward using this surplus for tax relief and transportation infrastructure.
This surplus should be used responsibly to address our state’s needs, not our wants. This means prioritizing issues such as reducing healthcare costs, building roads and bridges, and providing meaningful tax reform for Minnesotans.
We will be given a more comprehensive picture of our state’s economic health in the February 2017 forecast, and will use the final numbers in the legislature to budget for the next biennium. I will be sure to keep you updated regarding our budget forecast.
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Investigation
Many of you may have seen on the news that the Legislative Auditor has announced that his office will prioritize an investigation into the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). There have been reports that MFSA officials have been giving tickets to luxury suites in the Vikings stadium to government employees, such as commissioners, staffers, and legislators.
I am pleased that this investigation is being conducted. Public officials are subject to stringent gift laws in Minnesota, in order to avoid any conflicts of interest involving groups that lobby at the Capitol, like the Vikings organization. MSFA officials themselves are subject to the same regulations, as are the staffers, legislators, and commissioners who have received these free tickets.
At this point, the MSFA has refused to provide a complete list of persons who have been given free tickets. I hope that this investigation will address transparency issues we are seeing with the MSFA. Minnesota taxpayers footed a huge portion of the bill for U.S. Bank Stadium, and everyone should have to pay their own way to enjoy those facilities, including public officials.
Stay in Touch
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your comments, questions, and concerns. Email me any time at email@example.com or call 651-296-4306. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/annacwills.
State Representative 57B
Rosemount, Apple Valley, and Coates
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