Hope all is going well this summer. It’s been good seeing a lot of people from the area out at the Hubbard County Fair this week and I look forward to more of the same at the upcoming Becker and Clearwater fairs. It’s a great time to talk one-on-one about whatever issues are on your mind, so hope to see you there!
As for news from St. Paul, a state of emergency has been declared in 36 Minnesota counties and the Red Lake Nation due to flooding. This includes Becker, Clearwater and Mahnomen counties in District 2B.
A number of state resources are available to people that have been impacted. For instance, farmers may be eligible for low- or no-interest loans through the Disaster Loan Program to help with recovery efforts. The program is designed to help cover clean-up cost, repair and replacement costs not covered by insurance.
Other resources include:
This week we also received another economic forecast showing that state revenue is exceeding previous projections. Minnesota Management & Budget issued a supplemental economic report Tuesday and it indicates that, for the first six months of 2018, the state has taken in $348 million (1.6 percent) more than projected in the last full forecast from February. MMB says General fund revenues for FY 2018 are now estimated to be 4.7 percent greater than in FY 2017.
This growth is linked, at least in part, to tax relief that has been enacted at both the state and federal levels. For example, the historic tax relief we provided in Minnesota this biennium ($650 million in reductions for 2018-19 and $790 million for 2020-21) is allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned money and, in turn, they are putting it into the local economy. More work remains because the state is still collecting too much in taxes, but it is good to see that decisions we have made are delivering positive results.
On a final note, it was good to see Wednesday’s announcement that the state is reinstating the mineral leases for Chippewa Capital Partners, LLC, which is seeking to complete the former Essar Steel taconite mine and processing plant in Nashwauk. It is good to see common sense prevailed on this issue and I look forward to seeing the good-paying jobs and economic boost this brings to the Iron Range.