For more information contact: Matt Privratsky 651-296-6860
We passed several key bills this week. And the one thing they all have in common is this: we are putting together a budget that is balanced and responsible. There are no gimmicks. There are no one time shifts. There are no funds borrowed from our schools.
Instead, we are mitigating all the damage done by the previous Legislature. We are paying back over $800 million in school shift funding that needs to be paid back and we are making up for over $600 million of budget deficit left over from last biennium. Even with those huge deficits to pay back, we are making significant investments in schools, property tax relief, and jobs. All of those investments are going to be very positive for our state.
One area where we still have work to do is transportation. Unfortunately this session we were not able to make significant investments in our transit systems. We need to make repairs to our roads and bridges, we need to add transit lines with buses and rails, and we need to implement a system that can pay for all these projects. It’s going to be a challenge. But it’s absolutely necessary.
Transportation affects the job market because everyone needs a dependable route to work. It impacts our education system because student need different options when they need to attend classes. It impacts individual families because they have to pay hundreds of dollars a year in gasoline alone when they’re stuck on the interstate in rush hour traffic. More investments in transit would alleviate much of this congestion by giving people more options to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’.
So with all the good work we’re doing, we know there is more to do. I’m very proud of the budget we’ve put together this session. But it makes me even more eager to work on a big picture transportation plan moving forward. As always, you can find more updates on my work at the Capitol by looking at my blog, www.sandramasin.org
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