It's been a busy last month. Before we headed back home for Passover and Easter break we passed all of our key budget bills to set Minnesota's budget for the next two years. Since then the House and Senate have been negotiating in conference committees. Unfortunately, Governor Dayton has decided to not engage in the process and instead wait until the end result to fully negotiate. While this is disappointing, the House and Senate is committed to getting our work done and in that effort we announced joint budget targets last week, which are in the chart below.
Joint Budget Targets Set
As you can see, the House and Senate have come to agreements on funding priorities while still returning over a billion dollars in long overdue tax relief, conformity, and reform to Minnesotans. We have also dedicated $372 million in new transportation funds and dedicated $1.14 billion in new education funding.
Again, it's unfortunate that Governor Dayton has declined to fully participate in the process, or allow his commissioners to negotiate. But with these budget targets set, our hope is that Governor Dayton will come to the table so we can get the people's work done in a transparent and open process. It's not in the best interest of Minnesotans for the Governor to not participate in the process, veto bills that he declined to have a hand in negotiating, and then have us all start back over. I have hope we will get all our work done on time but to do that, we will need the Governor to engage.
Visitors to Capitol
Recently, a number of constituents, teachers, and other groups from our area came up to Saint Paul and met with me. Kevin Worden of Rochester Habitat for Humanity came to my office to discuss a number of issues. I also met two school groups: a group from Byron Elementary School here at the Capitol Rotunda and a group of 6th graders from Holy Spirit School in Rochester.
Rep. Quam with a Byron Elementary School group
Rep. Quam with 6th graders from Holy Spirit School in Rochester.
Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts and ideas on issues important to you. You can schedule a time to meet with me in my office any time by calling (651) 296-9236, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at email@example.com
Thank you and have a great week,