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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 16, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

Negotiations continue as we work to craft Minnesota’s budget. As I write this, Governor Walz, Speaker Hortman, and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka are still working to find consensus on the financial targets for conference committees, who will then use these guidelines to craft their areas of the budget. A breakthrough on this could come at any moment. Under previous Republican control of the Legislature, the weeks leading up to the end of session have been hectic and difficult to follow. To combat this confusion and promote transparency, Republicans and Democrats agreed to self-imposed deadlines in May, leading up to our constitutional adjournment on May 20.

Unfortunately we are now over a week past the deadline for a budget agreement, threatening a timely and efficient end to session. The Senate GOP declined to meet most of last week and when they did meet Sunday evening, they refused to offer a compromise.

As I continue to work with my colleagues on completing our work in a timely manner, I wanted to share with you some of the House’s proposals for building a better Minnesota.

 

E-12 Education

The House DFL’s proposal for an E-12 Education budget includes a historic investment in Minnesota’s students. We’re increasing the per-pupil funding for students all over the state, and here’s how that would impact our community.

Robbinsdale schools would see a $757 increase per student over the next two years, and Hopkins schools would see a $611 increase. The per-pupil funding increases are part of our efforts to close Minnesota’s achievement gap, and ensure that all of our students have access to a world-class education.

 

State Government Conference Committee

As a member of the State Government Conference Committee, my colleagues and I are working to produce the parts of Minnesota’s budget that fund our government, support our veterans, and protect our elections. Like other conference committees, we’re waiting on a deal from leadership to complete our work. A source of contention in this portion of the budget in the federal funding for election security.

Protecting our elections shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but the GOP Senate is refusing to use the full $6.6 million in federal dollars that do just that. At this point Minnesota is the only state in the U.S. that hasn’t accepted these election security funds, and what should have been an early-session fix has now unfortunately become a bargaining chip.

You can read more about our efforts to access these funds here.

 

Stay In Touch

As we continue to work on Minnesota’s budget, I want to hear your questions and comments on the legislative process. Feel free to contact me atrep.mike.freiberg@house.mn or (651) 296-4176.

Sincerely,

Mike Freiberg

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