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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Chris Swedzinski

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dear Friends,

Here are some of the big topics I’m working on at the State Capitol:

Increased Revenue

Minnesota has received some welcome news, it was reported on April 10 by the Department of Management & Budget that during the two month period of February and March, the state received $145 million more in tax receipts than was forecasted for that period. The increases came as a result of more business activity and growth, along with various other factors.

Since the passage of the 2011 budget, which we are currently operating under, our state was able to turn around a deficit of over $5 billion dollars. Given the additional revenues from February and March, the $627 million deficit projected for the next biennium will be reduced as well. It is becoming clear a large tax increase won’t be necessary to balance the budget.

Meetings in St. Paul

This week I met with many concerned citizens, including Jeff Mueller, the store director of the Marshall Hy-Vee store. We talked about issues affecting the grocery industry.

Bonding Bill Introduced

On Tuesday, House Democrats announced their bonding recommendations, which will borrow and spend $858 million of taxpayer money. The good news is that this bill includes funding for the Southwest Regional Sports Complex. The bad news is that traditionally, bonding bills are not passed during budget years. The bill as a whole also contains some questionable projects and is very large. I also believe we should not borrow funds for large projects until we have a balanced budget. I hope to find a solution in the new few weeks.

Education Omnibus Bill

The K-12 education finance and policy bill was announced this week, which will spend $15.7 billion over the next biennium. Top components include the early learning childhood scholarships Republicans piloted last biennium, increasing the basic funding formula by $209 per pupil and implementing all-day kindergarten. The expansion of all-day kindergarten is not fully funded, however, and may force school districts to either subsidize these costs from other areas of their budget or increase class sizes.

Tax Freedom Day April 23 in Minnesota

April 18 is the day in 2013 when our nation’s workers have collectively earned enough money to pay this year’s tax bill. In other words, hardworking Americans will spend 107 days toiling for federal, state and local governments this year. That is five days longer than in 2012. Minnesotans will spend one week longer working to pay for government spending, reaching Tax Freedom Day on April 23. Only six states take longer to pay the government tab than Minnesota and we are just one day faster than sixth-place California. We need real solutions to create real jobs and real opportunities in Minnesota.

FCC Standards Input Sought

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) announced it is considering dropping current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity on TV. They are seeking public comment on this decision, which I encourage you to offer. The FCC will not accept general email comments. To be valid, you are required to file a formal comment via the FCC’s website. Here are instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the code “13-86” in the “Proceeding Number” box and fill out the few remaining required fields.
  3. Enter your comment in the text box provided and click “Continue.”
  4. From there, review your comment and click “Confirm.”

Have a great weekend,


Chris Swedzinski

State Representative, District 16A