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State Representative Kathy Lohmer

501 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4244

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Posted: 2011-05-17 00:00:00
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Email update

Seeking budget agreement with Gov


Legislative Update
May 17, 2011

The 2011 legislative session is entering the final stretch, and House Republican colleagues
and I continue our work to balance the budget,
make government live within its means and improve Minnesota’s business
climate. While the Governor remains adamant on tax increases and more
government spending, we are standing strong to reform government, reduce
spending and create an environment that allows our job creators to
thrive. Our budget provides tax relief, implements sweeping innovation,
and sets our state up for a sustainable future.
As we head into final talks with the Governor, highlights of our budget
include:
Taxes
The tax bill reduces taxes on low and middle-income earners by lowering
the 1st-tier income tax rate from 5.35% to 4.75 percent and the 2nd-tier
from 7.05% to 6.75%. The bill also includes business tax relief
designed to improve the state’s economic climate, most notably an
upfront capital equipment sales tax exemption to provide businesses more
capital for expansion and new jobs.
Education
Our education bills focus on students by increasing the overall state
funding for K-12 education by 3 percent and by properly funding programs
that help students pay for college. The House GOP’s K-12 education bill
also proposes many reforms, including ending wasteful integration aid;
sunsetting ineffective compensatory programs that pit school districts
against each other; enhanced accountability measures and changes to
school grading; expanded family choice in education, and mandate relief.
State Government
The state government bill reduces agency spending by over 30 percent and
contains perhaps the most reforms out of any piece of legislation in
recent memory, including:
15 x 15 Initiative (15% reduction of state workforce by 2015)State
employee pay freeze for two yearsSunset Commission to review and retire
unnecessary state activities and spending, identify opportunities for
innovation and drive continued reformZero based budgeting principles
With reforms like these, we can drive government into the 21st century,
give our citizens the results they deserve and set our state up for a
sustainable future.

HHS
Finally, our HHS bill does what no bill has ever done before, cutting
almost $2 billion in state spending. While protecting priorities like
seniors in nursing homes and the disabled, the bill reduces projected
spending increases by 15 percent and sets our state on a sustainable
path.
Also in the area of health and human services, last week legislative
colleagues and I took a significant measure to protect Minnesotan’s
right to control their own healthcare. We, members of the House and
Senate in Minnesota and North Carolina, filed an Amicus brief supporting
the twenty-six plaintiff states in the case against the federal
government to stop the implementation of the federal healthcare
legislation signed into law last year by President Obama—a law found
unconstitutional by Judge Roger Vinson in U.S. District Court.
As many others in Minnesota and across the country have voiced, the
federal health care law strips the ability for Minnesotans to control
their own health care decisions, violates core principles in our
Constitution and eliminates competition in the healthcare industry. The
brief, done on an entirely pro-bono basis, copeople of Minnesota to make economic and health-care decisions for
themselves and their families. I remain committed to protecting
Minnesotans and their freedom from expansive, irresponsible government.
---
As we move through the final days of finals of session, I want to remind
all of you that my focus here has been, and will continue to be, on
creating an environment that allows for businesses to grow and create
quality jobs. Putting Minnesota back to work is my first priority.
Throughout this process we have balanced the budget without raising
taxes and created sweeping reforms to realign government to economic
reality. My hope is that Governor Dayton comes to the table ready to put
Minnesotans, not politics, first.
If you would like to discuss legislative issues and are available to
visit me at the Capitol, please contact my office at 651-296-9471 to
schedule an appointment. I always enjoy hearing from my community. 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
atrep.kathy.lohmer@house.mn. Stay informed and involved! Together we
can bring responsibility back to government, job growth back to our
communities and create a stronger Minnesota.

Thanks,
Kathy

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