Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile

Legislative Update (1-30-15)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

The Governor unveiled his budget proposal for the coming biennium this past Wednesday. In total, the Governor’s budget increases general fund spending by $3 billion dollars to $42 billion dollars. This is an increase from the $34 billion dollar budget he had when he took office in 2010.

Included in the Governor’s budget is almost $9 billion dollars, over the next decade, in tax increases. Among these increases is a 6.5% gas tax hike, increased license tab fees, and a half-cent metro tax to raise $2.8 billion dollars for more transit and light rail projects in the Twin Cities. In all, it is another example of the Governor’s insistence to continue growing the size and scope of government.

As if the mere thought of such a large increase in taxes wasn’t enough, this proposal is coming on the heels of his previous budget which raised taxes on Minnesotans by nearly $3 billion dollars.

While the proposed increase in spending and taxes is disappointing, I am even more discouraged on what the Governor chose not to prioritize in his budget recommendations. Notably absent from the proposal is no increase in long-term care funding. Our state’s nursing homes, especially those in rural Minnesota, are in dire need of increased funding to ensure that our seniors are getting the care they deserve. I am committed to seeing that our nursing homes are adequately funded so they can address the problems in staffing retention and resources they need to care for our elderly.

My colleagues and I in the House majority will be working on putting together a budget that will address the needs of the state in a responsible manner. I am expecting a budget to be presented in late February to early March.

On Monday, the House passed Senate File 1 which brings nearly $17 million dollars in disaster relief aid to 47 counties and 3 tribal governments across the state. The $17 million is used as a match with $50 million in federal money.

These counties are receiving this aid money to help with cleanup and repair efforts from last summer’s severe storms. Lyon, Yellow Medicine, Lac Qui Parle, and Redwoods Counties are all included in this package.

If you have friends or family who would be interested in receiving my weekly email update, please direct them to sign up by clicking here.

I welcome the opportunity to speak with about your ideas on how we can make state government work better. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-5374 or via email at

Have a great weekend,