I hope you had a blessed Easter weekend, and were able to spend some time with family and friends. As we return from our Easter break, lawmakers will be focused on setting budget priorities – working to ensure that Minnesota continues to be a wonderful place to work, live, and raise a family.
Budget Targets Set
Late last month, House Republican leadership unveiled our proposed framework for the state’s 2016-2017 budget. The House plan would spend $39.9 billion for the next two years and will include $2 billion in tax relief for Minnesota families. Additionally, our plan puts $100 million into the state’s budget reserves or “rainy day” fund.
By contrast, Governor Dayton’s proposal calls for a $43 billion budget. His plan would raise taxes and does not put any money into the state’s budget reserves.
Finally, Senate Democrats released their proposal which calls for a $42.7 billion budget.
With these three budget proposals, the stage is now set for the House, Senate, and Governor to work together to come to an agreement on a budget for the next two years.
Ultimately, our budget target proposal is centered on the belief that government spending should not grow faster than family budgets. From 2000 until 2013, Minnesota families’ budgets increased 12 percent while Governor Dayton’s proposed budget increases government spending by 75 percent from 2000 until today. In contrast, our proposal increases spending over the current biennium by 1.7 percent.
We set out budget targets with Minnesotans’ priorities in mind. Our budget prioritizes education, roads and bridges, and aging Minnesotans’ quality of life. Furthermore, while the state does indeed have a nearly $2 billion surplus, many Minnesota families are not seeing a surplus in their own pocketbooks. That’s why our plan also puts $2 billion back in the hands of hardworking Minnesotans.
Town Hall Recap
Thanks to those of you who attended my town hall meetings that were held on March 28th. It was great to meet with many of you to hear your questions, concerns, and to have a dialogue about what we can do to make Minnesota a better place.
I strongly encourage you to contact my office so we can continue our dialogue on the issues facing our state.
Staying in Touch
For those who haven't done so yet, my 2015 Legislative Survey is available to take online. I'd like to hear from you about important issues being debated at the Capitol this session.
Click on this link to take my legislative survey:
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have a question or comment about a piece of legislation or a state agency. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,