Congratulations to all those who made the 21st annual “Walk for Glendalough” such a success on Saturday. The park had a record day, raising more than $11,000 for park improvements. When you take into account matching contributions, this event has now surpassed $300,000 in total proceeds generated over its 21-year history. The volunteers who make this event possible deserve major credit for their efforts.
As for legislative news, the Legislature is now in its final full month before adjournment is scheduled. The aggressive deadline for bills that was set this session has us about three weeks ahead of the typical pace as we work to tie down the loose ends on omnibus finance bills. It is disappointing the governor has chosen to be disengaged from the conference committee process this week.
It would be helpful if the governor and his staff would become more closely involved so we can reach an overall agreement between the House, Senate and his office before bills are sent to him for enactment. For example, the House put forward a tax bill with $1.35 billion in relief for senior citizens, small businesses, college grads with student debt, farmers and others. It would be good to know now if he’s on board with the package of tax relief we are proposing or, if not, what can be done to get his signature.
My main responsibility on budget bills is to put together the finance package related to higher education. This has not been a controversial portion of the budget in previous years and I intend to keep it that way this time around.
Other legislation I have authored with local ties remains up for possible enactment this year. This includes one bill to facilitate the tax referendum Fergus Falls residents approved for the library and another to renew funds for repurposing the regional treatment center.
More details will be provided as issues evolve at the Capitol. Meantime, your correspondence always is welcome.