Dear Friends and Neighbors
I value your input and want to hear from you about issues being debated at the Capitol this session.
If you haven't done so yet, please click the link and take my short survey:
Also, feel free to share this survey link with your friends and family in District 32A. Your feedback is appreciated!
Republicans Unveil Transportation Plan
On Monday, House and Senate Republicans unveiled a comprehensive ten year, $7 billion transportation plan that fully funds our roads and bridges without increasing the gas tax or taking more money from Minnesotans.
Investing in our roads and bridges is a top priority for Minnesotans, and over the next ten years, The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 prioritizes repairing or replacing 15,500 lane miles for all roads and 330 bridges statewide. The plan calls for the immediate repair of roads in Minnesota communities, highway improvements for commuters and commerce, and reliable, long-term funding for transportation infrastructure that doesn't require tax increases.
We can fully fund our infrastructure needs in Minnesota without raising taxes, and we especially don't need to implement the largest tax increase in state history for which Governor Dayton is advocating. If his transportation tax increases became law, every driver in Greater Minnesota would be projected to pay at least $180 more per year, and that number increases every time the price of gas goes up, as it's almost certain to do.
In contrast, the Republicans' Road and Bridge Act is funded by redirecting already collected transportation taxes to our roads, by using a portion of the state surplus and Trunk Highway bonds, and by realigning MnDOT resources. This proposal will meet the infrastructure needs of communities of all sizes, doing everything from filling potholes to alleviating traffic congestion without taking more from your family's budget.
Transportation funding continues to be a key issue at the Capitol, and I will keep you updated on this issue as session progresses.
House Budget Targets Released
On Tuesday, House Republicans released their budget targets for FY2016-17. Unlike Governor Dayton who wants to spend all of the surplus and increase General Fund spending by $3.7 billion over last biennium, Republicans are working to ensure that government spending is kept in check, not growing faster than your family's budget.
Over the next two years, the proposal would spend $39.949 billion out of the General Fund, offer $2 billion in tax relief to Minnesotans and place $100 million in the budget reserves. I believe we can prioritize what's important to folks like education, roads and caring for our seniors without dramatically increasing government spending or taking more from taxpayers.
With the release of budget targets, House fiscal committees will pass budget bills in their respective subject areas in the coming weeks.
As always, if you have input on the state budget, transportation or any other legislative issue, please share them with me. Your input is valuable!
Have a wonderful weekend.