For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
As the year 2015 comes to a close, I wish you a prosperous new year! This is a good time to reflect on the strides Minnesota has taken in the last year, and the work that comes next.
While 2015 contained fewer legislative accomplishments than the year before, Minnesotans continued to make progress in strengthening our state’s economy and improving the well-being of all Minnesotans. Earlier this year, CNBC named Minnesota the #1 state in the nation for business. And last month, our state's economic report showed our state budget is in surplus with structural stability that has not otherwise been seen this century.
In many other ways, 2015 was a year of missed opportunities. This past legislative session the legislative majority failed to pass a much needed transportation bill despite studies showing that our roads, bridges, and transit need an additional $6 billion in funding over the next ten years. The legislature also failed to address the economic challenges facing many everyday Minnesotans.
I am hoping 2016 will be an opportunity to hit the reset button at the legislature. Too many ordinary Minnesotans continue to be left behind in an economy that favors insiders and the wealthy few. With a sturdy budget surplus, I am hopeful we can seize our opportunity to build a Minnesota where everyone has a chance at economic security and a better life. Including tackling our most complex challenges: racial and gender equity; fair taxation for all Minnesota residents; and achieving robust, broadly shared prosperity for all Minnesotans.
I’m eager to get to work ensuring all of our youngest learners have access to world-class education. Governor Dayton has continued to show his commitment to better meeting the needs of early learners, and I am optimistic we can find ways to do that with our strong budget. The best way to help infants and toddlers to thrive is to help their families to do so. That is why I’m also seeking input about how we can enact meaningful policies that give Minnesota families access to paid family and sick leave, high-quality, affordable child care, increased affordable housing, and living-wage jobs.
We have great opportunities set before us in 2016. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts about priorities for the 2016 legislative session.
I hope that you've had a peaceful and joyous holiday season and wish you the very best for 2016. Thank you for the honor of serving our community.
Happy New Year!
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