This week we are winding down with budget bills on the House floor. The jobs and economic development, state government finance, and health and human services bills passed the House this week. As we begin to wrap up these bills on the House floor, conference committee members for each committee are being selected. I have the privilege of serving as the chairman on the House Higher Education committee; I will also serve on the Higher Education conference committee. This committee will be made up of members from the House and Senate. House members selected include: Rep. Bob Dettmer, Rep. Pat Mazorol, Rep. Kurt Daudt, and Rep. David Hancock.
There is a concern for the flooding in our area and I hope that the water recedes soon. As it continues to warm up outside, I hope that our farmers can get in their fields soon. I also hope to get my lawn-mower out soon and put away my snow-blower for a while.
The Fergus Falls Local Option Sales Tax that everyone is hearing about is in the tax bill passed out of the House of Representatives last week. This tax bill will also go to a conference committee as well as the other omnibus bills.
Session is set right now to conclude on May 23rd of this year. Our proposed budget bills will continue to go through conference committees and we hope to have them to the Governor’s desk for his signature in order to fulfill our duties of balancing the budget this year.
Governor Dayton also declared a state of emergency for several counties in Minnesota. Please check out this website for more information: http://mn.gov/governor/newsroom/pressreleasedetail.jsp?id=10399
Flooding information from MN Homeland Security and Emergency Management: http://www.hsem.state.mn.us/eoc/2011flood/index.asp
Below are the results of the survey. Thank you for taking time to participate in the survey.
1. Would you support limiting state government to the amount of revenues taken in?
Yes: 67.74% No: 27.96%
2. Many job creators have said they move to other states because the environmental permitting process in Minnesota is too long and too expensive. Should the permitting process be reformed to remove this obstacle to job creation?
Yes: 72.04% No: 23.66%
3. How important is building a new Viking’s Stadium?
Important: 36.02% Not Important: 62.37%
4. Do you support repealing the ban on nuclear power plant construction?
Yes: 66.67% No: 27.42%
5. Do you support an alternative certification plan to allow career professionals like engineers and scientists to become teachers?
Yes: 70.43% No: 25.27%
6. Do you agree with Governor Dayton’s decision to enroll Minnesota in federal health care program at a cost of more than $1 billion to state taxpayers?
Yes: 34.41% No: 63.98%
7. Should the state’s tax rate on business be reduced?
Yes: 54.3% No: 40.86%
8. Do you support a public employee salary freeze?
Yes: 65.59% No: 32.26%
9. Should Minnesotans be required to provide photo I.D. as a requirement for voting?
Yes: 74.19% No: 23.66%
10. Do you support repealing the 2008 changes to the Green Acres Program that drove up property taxes on rural land?
Yes: 57.53% No: 30.11%
Here is more background information on the people who filled out my survey.
Veterans: 8.6% Teacher or Student: 3.76% Pro-life: 10.22% Senior: 17.74%
Hunter/Angler: 10.75% Business Owner: 6.99% Parent: 12.90%
As always if you have any questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
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.