Hello from the State Capitol,
I would like to update you on some of the important issues that have been discussed at the Capitol this week.
Republicans Unveil Transportation Plan
On Monday, House Republicans released our comprehensive, future-oriented transportation plan that invests $7 billion in Minnesota’s roads and bridges over the next ten years without raising taxes.
The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:
Our plan is in contrast to Governor Dayton and Democrats’ plan which would impose a new 6.5 percent tax on gasoline at the wholesale level. Ultimately, this new tax would cost drivers a minimum of 16 cents/gallon more at the pump and this number would increase every time the price of gas rises.
Minnesotans say they want better roads and bridges and also overwhelmingly oppose gas-tax increases. This plan makes good on both accounts by replacing or repairing 15,500 lane miles and 330 bridges statewide without a tax increase.
House Budget Proposal Released
On Tuesday, House Republicans released our budget targets for the biennium. Here are the top line numbers:
Money to Budget Reserves: $100 million – governor’s budget puts no money in reserves
Our budget proposal of $39.95 billion comes in well under the Governor’s proposed $43 billion budget.
We believe that the government’s budget should not grow faster than family budgets. For example, Minnesota families’ budgets increased 12 percent from 2000 until 2013 while Governor Dayton’s proposed budget increases government spending by 75 percent from 2000 until today. In contrast, the Republican budget target increases spending over the current biennium by 1.7 percent.
Here is a chart comparing our proposal to the Governor's. The yellow/orange line shows the median household income.
Again, government spending should not grow faster than family budgets. That is why we set our budget targets with that value in mind and aimed to prioritize education, roads and bridges, and protecting our aging Minnesotans’ quality of life. And while the state has a budget surplus, most Minnesotans are not seeing a surplus in their own budget, which is why we’re putting $2 billion back in the hands of hardworking taxpayers.
Staying in Touch
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have questions, concerns, or comments on any number of issues related to the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9236 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org