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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 30, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

As you are likely aware, Republican leadership and Governor Dayton were unable to reach an agreement on the final budget prior to the regular legislative deadline of midnight on May 22nd. We immediately began a special session at 12:01 a.m. on May 23rd. We then spent a marathon week waiting for omnibus bill language to be released, reading, debating and finally voting on the bills that lay out our state's budget for the next two years. Much of the final language was released to the public just hours before we voted on it, and thus Governor Dayton was unable to review and agree on the bills ahead of time. It is unknown at this point which bills Governor Dayton will sign, and which, if any, will be vetoed. I plan to send a more comprehensive update once we know the outcome of those bills.

Some highlights, for now, of what was included in the major omnibus bills:

  • A comprehensive bonding bill finally passed both the House and Senate. This bonding bill includes important projects across the state and will provide hundreds of jobs. Some projects with local impact include funding to replace the bridge at 694 and Rice Street, and funding to maintain short line rail in Hugo that is used by many local area businesses.
  • A 2% per pupil increase in public school funding, which is necessary to keep up with inflation. We were also able to stop the "opportunity scholarship" modified private school voucher program, which would have diverted funds towards tax provisions that could otherwise have been used for public schools.
  • Funding for our criminal justice system, including additional funds for law enforcement de-escalation and implicit bias training.

These are just a few of the hundreds of provisions included in the bills currently with the Governor. I hope to provide more information soon.

As always, thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you at our State Capitol. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.





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