Today was the release of the February forecast, another sign that spring is not too far away, and that budget targets are just around the corner. Our state has a projected $1.869 billion surplus for the 2016-2017 biennium, a good sign that our state's economy remains healthy.
In the coming weeks, the legislature will begin the process of putting together our budget for the next two years. Our budget will likely focus on putting surplus dollars back in the pockets of taxpayers who helped produce it, as well as focusing on priorities Minnesotans sent us here to work on such as roads and bridges, long-term care, nursing homes, and improving education.
I will be sure to keep you updated on the budget as session continues.
First Child Protection Bill passes
On Monday, the House voted 130-0 to pass my bill, House File 8, aimed at improving child protection. Admittedly, this bill doesn't go far enough but is a good start. The bill puts child safety as the paramount consideration for county workers as they make decisions about child protection cases. It also reverses a law passed two years ago that bars the use of previous reports that have been screened out.
I am committed to continuing to make improvements and implement recommendations from the Governor's Task Force. This is just the first step, albeit an important one, toward making Minnesota safer for all children, giving them the chance to reach their full potential.
Have a great weekend,