For more information contact: Matt Roznowski 651-296-8875
As we enter the final days of the 2013 legislative session before our May 20 adjournment, lawmakers in the House and Senate have reached a final budget agreement with Governor Dayton that honors the promises we made to voters on the campaign trail in 2012.
It’s a plan that invests in priorities Minnesotans broadly share and support: providing all children with a high-quality education, creating good jobs so Minnesotans can provide for their families, and delivering middle class property tax relief.
Eliminating our deficit without gimmicks:
Our budget accomplishes what Minnesotans expect and deserve – a plan to square our deficit in a way that is honest, fair, and responsible by using a combination of reforms, cuts, and new revenues. By putting an end to our cycle of perpetual budget deficits, we’ll provide businesses and families with the stability needed to create long-term economic growth.
Paying back our schools:
The previous legislature borrowed $2.4 billion from our schools. The bill we owe our schools is past due, which is why our budget pays the shift back in full over the next two years. We made that promise to Minnesotans and our budget follows through on it.
Investing in all learners:
Our budget makes a historic $725 million investment in education at every level, from early childhood through post-secondary. It’s the kind of commitment that will allow us to build the world’s best workforce and gain a competitive economic advantage for years to come. Our plan pays for all-day Kindergarten, reduces class sizes and puts resources directly into our K-12 classrooms, and lowers tuition for our college students so they can put more money towards saving to buy a car or house instead of paying off a crushing burden of debt.
Creating good jobs:
Our plan commits $89 million in new investments to create good jobs for middle class Minnesotans. It calls for more job training, workforce development, and small business strategies like low-interest loans. These are proven job-creating engines that will strengthen our economy and workforce so Minnesotans can put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads, and live a more comfortable lifestyle with greater economic security.
Fairer taxes for middle class Minnesotans:
Over the past decade, middle class Minnesotans have been squeezed in order to protect the wealthiest among us. Our budget reverses that trend by providing $400 million in property tax relief for middle class Minnesotans. We pay for that relief by asking the wealthiest two percent and big corporations to pay their fair share.
As you likely already know, both the Minnesota House and Senate passed bills that give same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Governor Dayton will sign the historic legislation into law today on the capitol steps at 5:00pm, making Minnesota the 12th state to allow all people to marry the person they love.
With the House and Senate already having passed comprehensive budgets and awaiting conference committees to iron out the differences, the time was right to bring this bill up for a vote.
Same-sex marriage is the top issue constituents contacted me about since I took office in early January. The vast majority of those individuals urged me to support the Marriage Equality Act. Last November, over 55 percent of voters in our District rejected a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota’s constitution.
The bill is the strongest in the nation when it comes to protecting religious beliefs of people who oppose same-sex marriage. Religious organizations will not be required to perform marriages they do not support.
At the end of the day, this issue comes down to making sure same-sex couples are treated equally under the law. By allowing civil marriages for gay and lesbian Minnesotans, they’ll receive the same rights, benefits, and protections that I enjoy with my wife. It will also make Minnesota a more welcoming, inclusive place where people will want to live, work, and raise a family.
Addressing our growing water shortages:
As you know, one of my top priorities is making sure we take serious steps to address shrinking water levels at White Bear Lake and other locations throughout Minnesota.
I’m proud to report that last week, the Minnesota House passed a bill I authored to establish a bipartisan Legislative Water Commission consisting of six legislators from the House and six from the Senate.
Under my bill, the commission will review water policy reports and recommendations provided by various state entities and make recommendations to assist the legislature in formulating laws to solve this ongoing problem.
Contact me with any questions:
If you have any questions or comments about our final budget agreement, the marriage equality bill, or my legislation to address shrinking water levels, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-5363, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at 421 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
I also encourage you to ‘like’ my Facebook page to get the latest news and updates about activity at the capitol.
State Representative, District 43A