Rep. Sandra Masin
Letter to the Editor
Minnesota House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2013
To the editor:
Last week, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office announced a budget surplus of over $1 billion — a result of increased revenues from a strong and growing economy, as well as decreased state spending. This strong economic performance means we may have increased flexibility to address several issues during our upcoming legislative session this February.
It also means that all the money that was borrowed from our schools two years ago will be fully paid back. This is a victory for our students and our future. We heard a lot from you that paying back our schools was the right thing to do and just a few months after our 2013 Budget was passed, our schools have been made whole. This is progress we should be proud of.
The budget surplus will also put us in a good position to repeal the farm and warehousing sales taxes to help ensure our local businesses do well. Legislators on both sides of the aisle are eager to address these taxes and if the surplus holds, we’re hopeful that they will be able to be repealed.
Those changes would help add to our existing efforts to create jobs across the state. This year’s budget invested $100 million to attract new businesses and ensure our local businesses have all the tools they need to succeed in our communities. Our budget cut the Unemployment Insurance tax by $346 million, a savings of $150 per employee for the average business.
This kind of work is what we need to be focusing on at the Legislature. That’s why we are currently serving on the Small Business Caucus. Our bipartisan group works with small businesses across the state to develop ways to benefit small and medium size businesses. It gives us the opportunity to work across party lines and learn about the needs of our businesses.
Minnesota is continuing to make progress, but we know we have more work to do. By continuing to work together and focusing on middle-class priorities, we can keep our state on firm footing and set the stage for strong and lasting economic success.