This week the House passed the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 with bipartisan support. This bill is part of the House GOP approach that puts $7 billion into roads and bridges over the next 10 years without raising the gas tax. This is an approach supported by the large majority of Minnesotans who do not wish to see gas prices go up. The gas tax is one of the most regressive taxes in existence, and raising it only hurts low and middle-income Minnesotans, as well as seniors living on fixed incomes.
Minnesotans deserve government that works to solve problems like lack of transportation funding with more creativity than simply raising taxes. Raising taxes is the easy way out for politicians, but the wrong approach for the citizens of the state. I hope the Governor and the Senate come around to our position that we can do what's right for Minnesota and invest in roads and bridges without a gas tax increase.
Governor Dayton declared a state of emergency on Thursday in order to help continue the efforts to combat the spread of avian flu. The Governor and state agencies deserve credit for their hard work and response to this outbreak. More than a dozen counties have been impacted, but health officials are working non-stop to keep our food supply safe, and prevent transmission to humans. Risk to the public is extremely low, and officials want to remind people that food remains safe.
The emergency funding bill passed by the House last week was delayed when the Senate decided to break with a longstanding tradition of not attaching unrelated provisions to disaster relief and emergency response bills, and attached a completely unrelated provision that has nothing to do with responding to this unfortunate crisis.
The bill is now in conference committee, and it's my hope we can move quickly to get the funding passed in the coming days.
Please continue to contact me with your thoughts and input as we come to the end of session. You can email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-296-4229.
Have a great weekend,