Greetings from Saint Paul,
It was great to get back to the district this weekend. I was able to attend the Little Falls Nordic Ski State Meet in Biwabik and cheer on my daughter and the team. They ended up with a fifth place finish. Congratulations! Also, I want to congratulate the Pierz wrestlers on their successful bid to compete at the state match. In my opinion this is the best time of the year to follow high school sports--its tournament time!
Some updates from last week:
MCCL Legislative Dinner
On Tuesday, Minnesotans Citizens Concerned for Life hosted their annual legislative dinner at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul. It was great to attend along with dozens of other pro-life legislators supporting a worthy cause. This dinner once again reminded me of the work we have to do to help mothers in their decision to choose life and support them and their children.
On Monday, February 11th, the House unanimously approved a tax bill that conforms Minnesota's individual income tax and corporate franchise tax to most federal tax changes. Passing this legislation in a timely manner prevents many Minnesotans from having to amend their tax return in the future, and provides middle-class tax relief. With Minnesotans now receiving their W2's and other tax documents in the mail, it was critically important for the legislature to act quickly so residents would not experience delays in receiving their tax refunds.
Economy on the Mend
A supplemental economic report from the Minnesota Department of Revenue showed that Minnesota's revenue collections continue to exceed projections. We took in $140 million dollars more than expected in the month of January, and adds to the $2.5 billion dollars in surplus revenue above projections dating back to November of 2011.
This is yet another positive sign for Minnesota's economy, and another indication that we should avoid potentially harmful tax increases that may derail our improving economy. We will be receiving a full budget report later this month which will be key in helping to shape the state's budget for the next biennium.
In education, there are a number of mandates that we could remove to help schools reduce spending. I am hoping to present some legislation that gives schools more control. I believe with the improvements in technology and teaching practices we can help schools find ways to decrease some spending.
I am continually frustrated by the state's ability to give schools more unfunded mandates in the name of "helping" or "improvement". These mandates cost local taxpayers. We need to be finding ways to give more control to schools locally to enact policies that make sense for their school in their area rather than adopting a top-down approach to education.
Have a great week,
State Representative, District 09B