Joyce and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. The recent snow in our area makes it look a whole lot more like the holidays are upon us.
I hope more seasonal weather gives outdoors enthusiasts a boost – especially for parts of our local economy that depend on winter activities. Please do your part to help local businesses this season.
There are just a couple of legislative notes I would like to pass along this time. First, we received word from Minnesota Management & Budget that our state's revenue was $9 million beneath projections in November. This snaps a 14-month string of months where revenue had exceeded previous projections.
Although $9 million is a relatively small portion (0.6 percent) of the state revenue total and is not cause for alarm, it does remind us we need to be careful in making budget decisions regarding our projected $1.8 billion surplus for the 2016-17 biennium.
The other news item I'd like to mention is some new laws take effect Jan. 1. Maybe the one most people will notice is that you will now need to present proof of insurance when applying for motor vehicle or motorcycle registration or transfer of ownership. Under the new law, required information includes the insurance company’s name, the policy number and the policy expiration date.
This is not so much a new policy, but a restoring of a law that was in place before being repealed several years ago. Too many people are driving without insurance and that leads to higher premiums for law-abiding citizens. The hope is adding this spot check at the DMV will reduce the number of uninsured motorists.
You can click here for more information regarding new laws.