This week, we started a different part of the legislative session. We’ve passed our budget bills, and now the House and the Senate have to come together to work out the differences between each of our large bills. Each body appoints five members for each bill to form conference committees to tackle this process.
I was fortunate to be named to the State Government Finance conference committee. You know from many of my previous updates that this area of the legislature is a passion of mine. It’s one of the places where we see continued misuse of taxpayer dollars, meaning it’s ripe for reform. I’m always looking for ways to make state government more efficient and responsive to Minnesotans.
One part of our larger bill contains language I authored to make changes to the state’s IT infrastructure, and consolidates numerous data centers, outdated servers, applications, and addresses IT modernization. It’s estimated to save the state $3 million to $7 million simply by upgrading our technology and migrating some capabilities to the cloud. The arguments against this provision is that it will cut government jobs. Yes, if we are spending money on outdated technology, we shouldn’t be paying employees to maintain that technology. For a longer explanation, I spoke on the House floor about this topic. If you’re interested, please click here to watch the short clip.
There are other conference committees meeting to discuss tax relief, education funding, public safety, and more. I’ll keep you updated as these committees decide on their final bills.
In other good news; you might remember we passed health insurance relief for those on the individual market. This 25% reduction is a big help for hardworking families. Those who qualify will start to see these rebates for their May premiums. If you have questions about this legislation, please contact me.
As always, I’m here to serve you, so please reach out if you need anything.
Enjoy your weekend,