Over the weekend Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released a report detailing that the total unfunded costs associated with Obamacare is estimated to cost Minnesota schools at least $207.96 million over the next three years.
With $160 million of taxpayer money already wasted on a broken MNsure website, it’s frustrating to learn Obamacare will cost our schools more than $200 million over the next three years. I fear this new mandate will take more money out of the classroom where it could be best used supporting teachers and students.
One of the biggest bills remaining under consideration this session is one that would pay for construction projects throughout the state. We had an agreement at the end of the 2013 session to bond for $846 million this year. Some in St. Paul want to spend even more, while others say $846 million is too much as it is. Gov. Mark Dayton proposes $1 billion in state spending. The chair of the Capital Investment Committee has multiple bonding proposals introduced, including some as high as $1.3 billion. We haven't seen the final proposal at this point, so we're still waiting to review that. Regardless of the price tag, a bonding bill should be focused on supporting priorities like roads, bridges and other infrastructural necessities. House Republicans issued an alternative that would pay for necessary projects and honor our previous $846 million agreement.
While most bills in the legislature only need a majority vote to pass, any bonding bill requires a 60% majority because it borrows money. With 73 Democrats and 61 Republicans serving in the House, at least eight Republicans would need to vote for a bonding bill assuming all Democrats vote yes. This means Republicans must have a seat at the table as this legislation is being negotiated. I would only vote for a bonding bill that keeps our state’s debt service manageable.
As always, I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-9918. Mail can be sent to Rep. Steve Green, 231 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.