For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809
Committee hearings this week continued to focus primarily on the Governor's budget proposal. I personally had three of my bills heard in committees this week, including my Veterans Hiring Tax Credit bill, a bill to expand the tax exemption for non-profits such as 4-H, and a bill to increase funding for the successful Reading Corps program that is helping to keep kids out of special education services and close the achievement gap. The Star Tribune wrote an article on the 4-H bill, you can read it here.
The House will be releasing its budget targets in the coming weeks, and will craft a budget of our own. After that, the difficult work begins of working with the Senate and the Governor to come to an agreement on a budget that can gain the support of the House, the Senate, and the Governor.
The other major news this week was the continuing controversy over the Governor's commissioner salary increases. If you remember, the Governor approved more than $800,000 in pay increases for his commissioners in early January, news the legislature learned only last week. The Senate took action on a strong bipartisan vote yesterday to delay the salary increases, and the House is expected to take action next week. Rep. Roz Peterson from Lakeville has a bill that's being heard in committee next week to remove the Governor's authority granted to him by the DFL legislature in 2013 to raise commissioner pay single-handedly.
Como Zoo Tour
The Legacy Committee toured the Como Zoo on Monday, February 9th, a chance for legislators to see where the Legacy funding and other public dollars go, and the exhibits and services they help provide. We got to feed a giraffe and got a look at the behind-the-scenes operations at the Zoo.
Minnesota Zoo Deficiency Funding
We are expected to take up the Deficiency Bill which includes funding for the Minnesota Zoo in the next week. The Pioneer Press wrote an article about with more information about the Zoo's budget request which you can read by clicking here.
I wanted to wish a big congratulations to the Eastview Girls Hockey Team for making it to the State Tournament, and to Rosemount Gymnastics Coach Jason Passeri for winning the Section 3AA Coach of the Year Award, his sixth award in seventeen years at Rosemount. Congratulations to all of you on your great achievements this season.
Feel free to contact me at any time with your comments, concerns, and questions. Reach my office by calling 651-296-4306 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/annacwills.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend!
State Representative, District 57B
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