It’s a fun time for me to be in St. Paul. Not only is the legislative session moving along, but the state wrestling tournament is close by at the Xcel Energy Center. Congrats to our Willmar squad for their fourth place finish in the team competition! We have some local wrestlers taking part in the individual competition this weekend, too. Good luck, guys!
Opioid Awareness Day
Yesterday was the second annual Opioid Awareness Day on the Hill. I started the day presenting my bill, the Opioid Family Recovery Act, to the Health and Human Services Reform Committee. I was so fortunate to have a number of testifiers who wanted to share how opioid addiction impacted them or their family. Some of the stories we heard were nothing short of heartbreaking. But, I think that’s the kind of honest conversation we need to have about this issue. It’s not easy to talk about or even imagine until it happens to a loved one. I’m thankful for all who came to support this needed legislation.
We also had a rally to gather advocates, addiction survivors, and grieving family members together to share stories and encourage more conversations about opioid addiction. Because of these brave individuals, our fight against the opioid epidemic is being heard loud and clear at the Capitol.
If you’re interested, here’s a short video highlighting the day.
On Tuesday, I joined Transportation Committee Chairman Paul Torkelson to talk about the disastrous rollout of the MNLARS system that's causing headaches for citizens, license workers, and registrars throughout the state. MNLARS has already wasted $100 million for a product that still isn’t working properly. Our proposal is to ask Governor Dayton to fund the $10 million request for MNLARS from other areas of the executive branch. It really shouldn’t be up to taxpayers to continually open their wallets to pay for the failures of this administration.
Here’s a quick video with clips from our press conference.
Early this week, we learned the state is forecasted to have a $329 million surplus. This is great news considering the November forecast was actually around $500 million less than our current estimate. The positive forecast is a sign our tax relief bill - along with the one passed by Congress - is helping our economy while still allowing residents to keep more of their paycheck. Now that we have the forecast, we can start to make more concrete proposals regarding tax conformity, bonding, and other important initiatives.
Please Contact Me
If you have an idea for a bill or just want to share your opinion, please contact me. Feel free to keep in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-6206. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repdavebaker or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/davebakermn.
Have a great weekend,