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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

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Update from Representative Petersburg 01-24-2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Greetings from Saint Paul,

On Tuesday, Governor Dayton presented his budget proposal for the 2014-2015 biennium. I have strong concerns about the impact the Governor’s budget proposal would have on middle class Minnesotans and businesses in our district.

Middle class families will see their taxes increased on over-the-counter medicine, haircuts, and for the first time ever, clothing. These taxes not only hurt families, they also hurt businesses in our community like the Medford Mall, and other local retailers in Owatonna and Waseca.

I look forward to what's sure to be a spirited debate in the coming weeks and months about the best approach to solving our state's budget gap. I welcome your ideas about the best approach to moving our state forward.

Agriculture Finance Committee

During the first week of session, I had the opportunity to vote for a measure that would have put the Agriculture Finance Committee -- the committee that ultimately has control over the state's Agriculture budget -- back in the hands of a rural legislator as a part of the Agriculture Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeanne Poppe of Austin, MN. As a member of the Agriculture Policy Committee, I hoped to have the opportunity to have a seat at the table when it came to the important decisions being made surround the state's agriculture budget. I am concerned about the potential impacts of a Minneapolis legislator being in charge of the committee that overseas the Agriculture budget, especially given that one in five jobs in the state of Minnesota are related to agriculture. Unfortunately, the measure ultimately failed on a party-line vote.

As session continues, I will do everything I can to make sure rural interests are well represented and have a strong voice in Saint Paul.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and input as session continues. Please feel free to contact my office at any time if I can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

John Petersburg
State Representative, District 24A