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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lyndon Carlson, Sr. (DFL)

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The Minnesota House Passes Supplemental Budget Package

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Dear neighbors,
 
Last week, the Minnesota House of Representatives ended the 2014 Legislative Session early after passing the supplemental budget. I was the author of the supplemental budget in the House and served as the co-chair of the conference committee between the House and the Senate. 
 
We began the 2014 session with a projected $1.2 billion surplus. We used this surplus to invest $550 million in tax relief for families and businesses, increase our budget reserve, and a $283 million supplemental budget package. The supplemental budget package focuses on improving Minnesota’s education system, providing needed support for community-based healthcare providers, keeping out roads safe, and growing Minnesota’s economy.
 
Jobs & Economic Development - $19.8 million
  • Invests in economic development resources to support job growth and small businesses in Minnesota.
  • Expands access to broadband in Greater Minnesota.
  • Invests in additional critical statewide infrastructure.
Health and Human Services - $103.9 million
  • Provides an additional 5 percent increase for home and community-based health care workers who provide care for the elderly and disabled.
  • Increases funding for nursing homes and provide additional investments in senior nutrition.
  • Focuses on efforts to reduce racial health disparities.
Education - $76.25 million
  • Provides a funding increase for E-12 schools to help address the costs of teacher evaluations and to further improve education outcomes
  • Provides more Minnesota children with access to affordable and high-quality early learning opportunities
  • Fully fund reduced price school lunches to ensure no Minnesota child is turned away in the lunch line and fully funds school breakfast for all kindergartners. 
  • Every student receiving a State Grant will receive an average increased grant of $118 and nearly 5,000 new students are likely to receive grants in the next school year to improve students’ access to an affordable college education.
Transportation - $15 million
  • Provides funding to local governments to repair potholes left behind after the worst winter in recent memory.
  • Further invests in the “Corridors of Commerce” for statewide highway repairs.
  • Increases firefighter training and adds rail safety inspectors to improve Minnesota’s railroad and pipeline safety.
  • Increases funding for Safe Routes to Schools to help Minnesota students get to and from school more safely.
Environment & Agriculture - $12 million
  • Invests in Farm to Food-Shelf funding to reimburse food producers for labor costs when producers donate surplus food to food banks.
  • Establishes the Terrestrial Invasive Species Research Center to conduct research on invasive and problematic plants and pests in and traveling to Minnesota.
Public Safety and Disaster Assistance - $35 million
  • Supports the Department of Corrections, in addition to funding specific public safety bills assisting crime victims, such as enhanced penalties for repeat criminal sexual offenders.
  • Establishes a Disaster Assistance Contingency Account to provide critical disaster relief without the need for a special legislative session.
State Government & Veterans - $705,000
  • Provides support for veteran-owned small businesses and expedites occupational licensing procedures for members of the military and their spouses.
  • Helps to find housing for veterans who are homeless or who are disabled and aging.
Minnesota continues to make progress and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the direction our state is heading. The budget will be structurally balanced in the long-term, with a $604 million projected surplus into the next fiscal biennium. 
 
I look forward to talking with you about the progress we’ve made for Minnesota. Please contact me with any questions, comments or other feedback you may have. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-4255 or by email at rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn.
 
Sincerely,
 
Representative Lyndon Carlson
 
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