For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809
Some updates from this week in Saint Paul:
Yesterday, the Minnesota Office of Management and Budget released the February budget forecast, a semi-annual report that gives legislators an update about the state's finances. The results were positive: Minnesota's growing economy generated $295 million dollars in additional revenue for the 2012-2013 biennium that will be used to pay back money owed to our schools for the school shift. The projected $1.1 billion dollar deficit for 2013-2014 has now shrunk to just $627 million dollars.
Our state's economy is moving in a positive direction. Minnesota is continuing to grow jobs, and is generating billions of dollars in additional tax revenue without raising taxes. In the coming weeks, legislative leaders will release updated budget targets, and determine how best to move forward in light of the new budget numbers. I hope the Governor will opt to use the $463 million dollars in new revenue to scale back his tax increase proposals rather than seeking to spend even more.
Tax Committee Hearing
On Wednesday, the Governor's tax plan received its first committee hearing, with hundreds of citizens turning out to take part in the political process and give testimony and feedback regarding the Governor's proposal.
Before the hearing, I met with one of the testifiers, District 57B constituent and small business owner Jason Sprenger who owns a public relations and communications firm called Game Changer Communications. He came to testify in opposition to the Governor's plan because of his concerns with how raising taxes on his company's business services will affect his ability to survive as a business.
This week I had many meetings with constituents regarding issues that are important to them. One visit was with two high school students from the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. These students, Marta Balsimo and Adrienne Birkeland, shared with me their concerns regarding clean water and making efforts to purify and protect Minnesota's sources of water using funding from the Clean Water, Arts, and Legacy Amendment. I serve on the Legacy Committee that allocates this funding, so I appreciated hearing from these young constituents about what they believe is a valuable investment of these funds. To learn more about this unique school, visit: http://www.district196.org/ses/index.html
Vets Bill Story Tonight on KSTP
Earlier this week, I was interviewed by KSTP for a story that will air tonight on the 10PM news on my Veterans Hiring Tax Credit bill, HF 532. I hope you will tune in if you get a chance. I will be sure to post a link to the story on my Facebook and Twitter pages once it is available online. The bill is scheduled for its first hearing in the State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday, March 4th.
Today I had the opportunity to visit the 934th Airlift Wing at Fort Snelling. Captain Dennis Davis invited me to meet several service members to hear their stories and learn what they do to provide support for our military and their families here in Minnesota. As a member of the State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs Committee, it was an honor to meet these men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so much on our behalf. To learn more about the 934th Airlift Wing, visit: http://www.minneapolis.afrc.af.mil/
I also toured Glacier Hills Elementary school in Eagan -- outside District 57B, but part of School District 196. Glacier Hills is an arts and science magnet school made possible in part through Integration funding from the State. Glacier Hills has been recognized by the Minnesota Department of Education as a 2012 Celebration School for their significant progress in closing the achievement gap. This tour given by Principal Jeff Holten and Magnet Coordinator Nicole Frovik is a part of my ongoing effort to hear from as many schools and educators as possible as a member of the Education Policy and Education Finance Committees. To learn more about this amazing school, visit: http://www.district196.org/gh/index.cfm
I want to wish many congratulations to the Apple Valley wrestling team for winning a share of the Team State Wrestling Title! They battled St. Michael-Albertville, considered one of the top teams in the nation, to a tie in what the Apple Valley Patch called a "battle for the ages."
Best of luck to all of the Apple Valley wrestlers who will now compete for individual state titles!
Have a great week,
State Representative, District 57B
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