News From Representative Nornes’ Desk
This week we are working very hard on the budget. We want to have our budget ready to go by March 25th. This session it is our priority to balance the budget and take care of our finances first, then we will look further at policy issues. We are also addressing a sales tax issue in a joint committee with the Senate today.
This session the budget has become our number one priority. We have to balance the budget before session ends. With a $5.2 billion deficit we are continuing to discuss ways to tackle the budget in our committees. We have produced budget targets, which is the first step in the process of balancing our budget. After we have tackled the budget we will be able to focus more on the policy issues we are facing. Our objective is to balance the budget and use the $32 billion we have available, which means living within our means.
We had a joint hearing with the Senate in the Property and Local Tax Division on Wednesday. We talked about having a sales tax in Fergus Falls in order to build the Regional Ice Arena. Hal Leland, the Mayor of Fergus Falls testified along with Councilwoman JoEllen Thacker before the joint committee in support of the sales tax. There was also a large delegation of Fergus Falls interested citizens who came to show their support for the bill as well and I’d like to thank them for coming.
I also had a few guests here this week at the Capitol. A group of home-school students visited from the Fergus Falls area. It was nice to have them here to tour the Capitol and learn more about state government. It was also a pleasure to have Ray and Ardy Seaver at the Capitol on Monday. Ray was our guest Chaplin on Monday and said the prayer before session began.
As we continue talking about the budget and addressing the issues facing our state here at the capitol please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns.
Also I’d really appreciate it if you would take a moment and fill out my legislative survey online www.surveymonkey.com/10Asurvey