We returned to the Capitol this week after a brief Easter/Passover break. Fewer than seven weeks remain in the 2013 session and things will pick up as budget bills start making their way to the House floor before we adjourn.
I will keep you posted as budget details unfold. For now, here are some other items I’d like to pass along:
TAX FREEDOM DAY
April 18 is the day in 2013 when our nation’s workers have collectively earned enough money to pay this year’s tax bill. In other words, hardworking Americans will spend 107 days toiling for federal, state and local governments this year. That is five days more than 2012. Minnesotans will spend one week longer working to pay for government spending, reaching Tax Freedom Day on April 23. Only six states take longer to pay the government tab than Minnesota and we are just one day quicker than sixth-place California.
It could take even longer to reach Tax Freedom Day next year if Gov. Mark Dayton and Democrats in the Legislature raise our taxes by billions of dollars to pay for excessive state spending. Our focus should be on creating a more effective government, not building a more expensive one. Here's a link to more about Tax Freedom Day.
REGIONAL TREATMENT CENTER
I was pleased to welcome a number of local people who recently testified in St. Paul as a House committee considered legislation pertaining to the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center. Fergus Falls Mayor Hal Leland, Fergus Falls City Council Member Jay Cichosz and Pemberton Law Firm representative Kent Mattson provided great testimony. They addressed a bill which would assist redevelopment of the RTC facility. Our state economy is improving and more people are emerging as candidates to take on this project.
APRIL 12 TOWN HALL MEETINGS
Just a reminder that I will be co-hosting three town hall meetings with Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen Friday, April 12. Here is the schedule:
CONGRATS, AREA FOOTBALL PLAYERS
Congratulations to the area athletes who were named to the 40th annual Minnesota high school all-star football game. They include Perham quarterback Jordan Hein, Pelican Rapids tight end Tucker Forsgren, and Underwood defensive lineman Steffan Stroh. Perham coach Mike Jordahl also was named. The game will take place 1 p.m. June 29 at St. Cloud State University.
I recently received a handout from the Dept. of Natural Resources which includes some interesting 2012 statistics for Senate District 8. Here is a glimpse:
Licensing information (total number purchased within District 8)
Fishing licenses: 19,304
Boating licenses: 20,491
Hunting licenses: 16,642
Land and water information in District 8
Water access sites: 148
Aquatic Management Areas: 41, totaling 690 acres
Wildlife Management Areas: 49, totaling 15,925 acres
Snowmobile trails: 706 miles
State parks: 4, totaling 11,248 acres
State trails: 1, 28.8 miles
More information is available by clicking here.