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I am pleased to report that last week was not only a busy, but a productive one at the Capitol. We passed a number of Omnibus finance bills in the House of Representatives, bills whose measures are consistent with our budget plan. In addition to funding key priorities, these bills are designed to confront and control wasteful spending practices of the past, and balanced the budget.
The Omnibus finance bills that were passed are for K-12 Education (HF 934), Taxes (HF 42), Judiciary and Public Safety (HF 958), Higher Education (HF 1101), the Environment (HF 1010), and Agriculture (HF 1039). Also this week, we completed our work on the budget bills by passing the State Government Finance Budget and the Health and Human Services Budget.
As you might expect, my colleagues across the aisle are not too pleased to see the reductions. But as you all know, I was sent here by the good people of District 56A to help get our state’s fiscal house in order, and that is what’s happening. This ultimately requires that tough but necessary decisions be made regarding the appropriation of your tax dollars. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to place the resources we have on the table, and put them to their best and most appropriate use.
In addition to my work at the Capitol this past week, I also paid a visit to Merrick Community Services in St. Paul(MCS). MCS is a non-profit organization that serves people on the east side of St. Paul and portions of the east metro. It receives just fewer than 40% of its revenues from government agencies and operates two community centers, two food shelves, and a job bank. I toured facilities and met with the Executive Director and several MCS clients.
Not only does MCS provide parenting classes, case management services for adults, children and families, but is heavily involved in the East Side Heritage Project for boys, emergency assistance, and holiday baskets of toys and food. In addition, this organization also provides meals on wheels, senior citizen programs, after school/evening youth services, and community meeting space. This organization does an amazing job with its resources, and I consider it one of most effective and efficiently run institutions I’ve seen. MCS is a positive, prime example of an organization that effectively delivers quality programs and services in a fiscally responsible manner.
The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey program, which was organized and implemented to assist wounded, injured or otherwise disabled U.S. military veterans with reintegration into civilian life, hosted a game last week which I was honored to attend. These people are awesome, and it is an honor and privilege to support our military men and women for their dedication and sacrifice through such a worthy cause.
I am very much enjoying our “Coffee With Kathy” sessions and appreciate the opportunity to sit down with people one-on-one, listen to their concerns, and while getting direct and valuable input.
As I’ve shared with you before, getting our own state’s fiscal house in order is no small task. I am working hard to accomplish that which you sent me here to do and am very pleased with the progress we are making.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please let me know. My office phone is 651-296-4244 or please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am continuing to host my weekly “Coffee With Kathy” sessions on Fridays from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM at Gorman’s Restaurant in Lake Elmo. Please contact Melissa Hackenmueller at 651-296-9471 to schedule a time to get together. I hope to see you there!
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