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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Creative measures part of budget plan

Friday, March 18, 2011
Folks- We have been looking between the couch cushions, under the car seats and just about everywhere else to find spare change that will help us chip away at our budget shortfall. A couple of proposals that are making progress in the House address bonds used to fund construction projects throughout the state. With one plan, we are looking to cancel around $60 million we’ve appropriated for projects which have failed to get off the ground. Pulling the plug on these idle projects would put approximately $60 million toward fixing our bottom line. We’re taking a hard look at what maybe wasn’t shovel-ready, or where the process stalled for one reason or another. These projects could be considered for reinstatement down the road when hurdles causing delays are cleared. Another proposal directs Minnesota Management and Budget to refinance our state’s existing bonds. Just like homeowners, the state can save money by refinancing to capitalize on lower interest rates. We are waiting to receive figures on how much money this would save. I have been spending today meeting with mayors and other constituents in the district. It's one of the things I enjoy most about serving as a state Rep. and the input I receive is tremendously helpful. Things will pick up soon at the Capitol because our budget bills are almost ready to arrive on the House floor. I will keep you posted. Until then, keep sending me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions by e-mailing Regards, Joe
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