Yesterday, Minnesota Management and Budget announced that we have a forecasted budget surplus of $1.65 billion. The February Economic Forecast revealed that Minnesota continues to have low unemployment and a stable budget.
While Minnesota's economy is performing well, we should always be looking for ways to improve. This surplus is an opportunity to reinvest in all Minnesotans in every corner of the state - through strong public schools, affordable college and job training, and access to good jobs and good benefits like paid leave and earned sick time across the whole state.
Right now House Republicans are talking about making an arbitrary and reckless ten percent cut across all state agencies so they can give more corporate handouts to their well-connected friends. This is embarrassing behavior.
For too long we have ignored our public infrastructure like our roads, bridges, and transit system, and it has been three years since the Legislature has passed a robust bonding bill to invest in our infrastructure. It is time to put politics aside and put the needs of Minnesotans first.
In order to stay competitive, we must reinvest in what makes Minnesota a great place to live and our priorities to ensure better economic outcomes for Minnesota families. I'm ready to get to work with Governor Dayton and the Legislature to do get the job done.
Later this week the Republican “preemption” bill will be debated by the full House. Preemption stops local communities from setting pro-worker policies such as sick leave, family leave, or a higher minimum wage. The measure also rolls back sick time for hundreds of thousands Twin Cities working people. This divisive, anti-worker legislation has popped up in legislatures all over the United States. Minnesotans have a strong work ethic and an even stronger sense of what is right and wrong. It’s not difficult to understand that rolling back benefits and stopping workers from getting ahead is the opposite of what we stand for and I will strongly oppose this bill.
As always, feel free to contact me with your input. I appreciate hearing from you.