Hello Friends and Neighbors,
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas! It’s such a wonderful time of year, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to a couple days of relaxing. I hope you have a joyous holiday with family and friends. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
I’ve previously written about the state’s faulty licensing system, MNLARS. Unfortunately, we’re continuing to see persistent issues, creating headaches for license center employees and customers who just need to transfer a title or get new plates.
If you’ve experience any issues at the DMV or a local license center, please contact me to share what happened. In the legislature, we’re working to identify problems so we can help DVS in finding solutions. You can also share your experience with the Minnesota House on this comment page, and we will relay your problems to Driver and Vehicle Services.
Recently, the state budget forecast for this biennium was released. The good news we learned is that wages in Minnesota continue to go up, and unemployment is at a 17-year low.
Currently, we’re projected to see a $188 million shortfall, but almost all of this can be backfilled if Congress passes $178 million in Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding for our state this year or next. The budget forecast also makes assumptions about legislative action at the federal level - including no tax reform bill. Just this week, the U.S. House and Senate passed their tax relief proposal. We will have to address the state impact of this reform during the upcoming session. I'll keep you posted on our budget after we see the February forecast and know the results of pending federal legislation.
Last week, I attended the swearing in ceremony for the newly elected Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council. It was a very moving ceremony, as the new council members each spoke about their history and what an honor it was to serve their community in this way. Congratulations to the new Tribal Council!
Staying In Touch:
As the year wraps up, I want to thank all of you who have written, emailed, called or visited my office. I appreciate your support, your opinions, concerns, and even your criticism. It all helps me to serve you better and to make your state government work better for us all. Never hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.
Again, Merry Christmas!