Here we are at the State Capitol on a Saturday- as we should be with so little time to go. But I’m disappointed that we’re not doing much by way of passing bills. Things have been stalled because so many of us can’t support the idea of leaving here with such a small commitment to educating our children when we have a $2 billion surplus.
Budget Negotiations Update
The GOP House and DFL Senate Leadership have agreed to joint budget targets. It's unclear if any policies have been agreed to, or when we'll be done. But I can tell you that I cannot support the education budget they agreed to.
I and many other state legislators stand with Governor Dayton in his call for an investment of $550 million in E-12 Education. He has threatened to veto the education bill unless it contains adequate funding and he’s right. We have a projected surplus of nearly $2 billion. Going back on our state’s commitment our children isn't what you sent me here to do.
Click here to see a letter my colleagues and I sent supporting the Governor's call for education funding.
Back to the Drawing Board on Transportation
We’ve also learned in the last day that leaders weren’t able to come to an agreement on a transportation package. This is one of the major disappointments this session. The only real progress we made was that we were able to get agreement on the scale of the funding crisis for our state’s transportation system. You’ll recall that House Republicans originally proposed a non-starter $200 million funding package. This was roundly rejected by communities all over the state for not addressing all the roads that are nearing the end of their life cycle, the increasing congestion in the metro, and the reality of our aging population’s need for more transit options.
The Governor and DFL Senators stood fast to their commitment to new, dedicated funding for our roads that won’t interfere with our ability to fund schools, and doesn’t penalize those of us who live in the metro area.
I really hope we’re able to resolve some of these differences over the next year. We’ve waited too long already.
As always, I remain accessible and want to hear from you. Feel free to contact me at 651-296-3751, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for giving me the honor of serving you and our community,