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News from Representative Gruenhagen 02-25-2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dear friends,

Some updates from St. Paul:

Democrats $3.7 billion dollar tax hike moves forward

This week, Democrats moved to support Governor Dayton's tax plan and keep it moving through the committee process. Not a single Republican voted for the measure, which should have sent a clear message to the Governor: time to go back to the drawing board and craft a tax plan that is fair to all Minnesotans and won't crush jobs in our state.

Since the release of Governor Dayton's budget, it's become apparent that the Governor's job-killing tax increases will have an impact on every Minnesotan, not just the wealthy. We've heard from business owners from Ada to Zumbrota that the Governor's plan will kill jobs and force many businesses to relocate to another state.

In one budget cycle last session, the Republican controlled Legislature turned a $5 billion budget deficit into a $2 billion surplus without raising anyone’s taxes, yet with this week’s vote, it’s clear that House Democrats want the Governor’s unnecessary tax increase plan to succeed.


Governor's Education Budget

Of the Governor's $3.7 billion in tax increases, he puts only $344 million of that tax revenue (about 9 percent) into early education and K-12, all while continuing to withhold money we already owe our schools. He led a chorus that criticized the use of previous shifts, but now calls his own budget plan visionary while he procrastinates on paying back the shifts the DFL so heavily criticized.

Republicans worked hard to ensure any increases in education funding were directed toward the classroom to benefit our children. The governor's plan does nothing to ensure results and also fails to even out funding inequities for rural school districts or close our broad achievement gap. The Governor's proposal also adds to an already bloated bureaucracy, including the creation of a new "school climate center" and new "regional centers" for the Dept. of Education.


Visits this Week

I had a number of constituent visits this week including:

  • Meeker Counter Public Health Director Diane Winter
  • McLeod County Public Health Director Kathy Nowak
  • Director of Public Health and Human Services Vicki Stock
  • Students from the Sibley County East FFA Chapter
  • Constituents representing the Minnesota Hospitals Association and the MSEA SEIU.

Have a wonderful week,

Glenn Gruenhagen
State Representative, District 18B


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