For more information contact: Matt Roznowski 651-296-8875
Last week, we received some great news about Minnesota’s economy and our schools.
A new budget forecast revealed a projected surplus of over $1 billion for the current biennium, allowing us to completely repay the money Republicans previously borrowed from our schools. It’s all possible because of an accelerated repayment plan DFLers included in our new state budget that I supported this past Legislative Session.
The result is greater financial stability and security for Minnesota’s schools, which is key if we want to close the achievement gap and better prepare our kids for college or a career. In case you missed it, you can click here to read a commentary I recently wrote for the Pioneer Press about the progress we’re making for our students.
And, the projected budget surplus also shows that Minnesota’s economy is growing stronger.
More money is coming in to the state coffers because more people are going back to work and thus paying income taxes. Our most recent jobs report showed that Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent in October, well below the national rate of 7 percent. Plus, claims for unemployment insurance are at their lowest level in ten years.
But, while our economy is moving in right direction, there is more we can do in the upcoming 2014 state legislative session to create jobs, reduce income inequality, and build a new economy that works for everyone.
First, we can pass a strong bonding bill to affordably fund the hundreds of shovel-ready projects throughout Minnesota that can put people to work while improving our roads, bridges, schools, and other infrastructure. Those projects in turn will spark more economic development. Here in St. Paul, I’m pushing for several projects to receive funding, such as expanding and improving the Minnesota Children’s Museum, renovating the Palace Theater, and improving the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
We also need to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to help hard-working men and women pay their bills, put food on the table, and support their families. Far too many Minnesotans are working full-time jobs but living below the poverty line. We need to make sure that all employers are paying their workers a livable wage. I am proud to have voted to pass a bill in the House this year that raises the minimum wage. We now need the Senate to do the same in 2014, so please contact our Senators to urge action.
If you have any questions about the school shift, our latest budget forecast, or our priorities for the 2014 legislative session, please feel free to get in touch with me.
You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-9714, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at 381 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.