This week we are continuing to work very hard on the budget in our committees. I have outlined the budgets that have come out of committees below. The House hopes to vote on budget bills as soon as next week.
Higher Education: The Higher Education Finance Bill focuses on students by fully funding programs that help them pay for college – the state grant program – and making no reductions to the work study program. It also creates tuition controls to protect students from unreasonable tuition increases and sets performance benchmarks for the U of M and MnSCU.
Taxes: After decades of uncontrolled spending growth, we don’t need to raise taxes. A key element of economic recovery is putting more money back into the economy. The best way to do that is to put it into the hands of the taxpayers. Our budget provides tax relief to lower and middle income Minnesotans.
Health and Human Services: Both the state and the federal government have a long history of denying reality and spending more than taxpayers can afford. Unlike previous legislatures, this bill leaves the status quo behind, leveraging innovation and reform to make our HHS system accountable, responsible and sustainable.
State Government Finance: The State Government Finance Bill implements sweeping reform initiatives designed to reduce costs, improve service delivery, and drive government into the 21st century. Individually and as a package, the reforms offered by House Republicans promote fiscal stability, modernize state services and drive continued innovation.
Agriculture and Rural Development: Minnesota’s agricultural industry an integral component of our state’s economy. Our bill prioritizes funding to maintain the integrity and safety of the food supply in Minnesota.
Transportation: We put together a fiscally responsible transportation bill focused on preserving current systems and putting the brakes on light rail expansion the state cannot afford to build or operate. It gives Greater Minnesota transit funding a $1 million increase.
K-12 Education: This bill lives up to our commitment to prioritize schools and reform education. It provides stable, equitable funding for schools across the state. We’re also creating new accountability programs and relieving schools of costly mandates.
As always if you have any questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
I appreciate your input so don’t forget to fill out my legislative survey or you can find an electronic version here. www.surveymonkey.com/10Asurvey
Visitors continue to come to the capitol to take tours and visit with local legislators. I would encourage folks to come to the Capitol for a visit. Please contact my assistant Chelsea Thompson to schedule a tour and visit by emailing her at email@example.com or you can reach her by phone at 651-296-4946 or 800-336-8017.