For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
There were many more positives than negatives to be found in Minnesota's recent state budget forecast, which shows a $329 million budget surplus. This is roughly $517 million more than the previous projection – a $188 million deficit - made in November.
You’ll recall a number of partisans attempted to make political hay out of the November news. This despite the fact that the forecast assumed Congress would not approve a tax relief bill and would not reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Congress did both not long after the November forecast.
These folks want you to believe that the tax relief that’s been approved at the state and federal level are unpopular and detrimental to the state’s economic condition. Neither are accurate, as nearly everyone I’ve spoken with on the topic is pleased to be able to keep more of what they earn.
Now that we have another budget surplus, our focus should once again center on finding ways to provide tax relief to the middle class. This money belongs to the people, not the government.
Minnesota House lawmakers believe they’ve found a way to meet Governor Dayton’s $10 million request to keep Minnesota’s floundering drivers licensing and registration system afloat – allow the Governor’s office to pay for it.
The bill gives the executive branch the authority to find that $10 million within other areas of the administration’s budget to pay for a fix to the MNLARS program.
No one wants MNLARS to shut down, but after nearly ten years and $100 million spent on a program that doesn’t work, many of us believe the executive branch can make this down payment. Especially when you consider that a recent KMSP-TV investigative report found the Dayton administration ignored several warning signs regarding MNLARS and rolled out the new system despite knowledge that it would not function properly.
At some point some accountability is needed here. And handing over a blank check – with no assurances that any new revenue will actually fix all of the problems – provides none. In their own words, the administration admits that nearly $100 million has helped create a “half-built system,” which is unacceptable. Minnesota can, and must, do better.
As always, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Kathy.Lohmer@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4244. You can also send mail to my office address: 501 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
Have a good weekend,
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