“Even prior to joining the Legislature, I’ve long advocated a public option giving Minnesotans access to the affordable, quality health care provided under a program like MinnesotaCare,” Rep. Koegel said. “With the challenges currently facing our health insurance market, it makes perfect sense to give folks more choices such as this. I anticipate vigorous discussion about this, as well as other reforms to our system, but cannot emphasize enough how thrilled I am that the Governor has brought this forward.”
Learners at all levels were also big winners under Gov. Dayton’s budget, with a 2 percent proposed increase on the K-12 per-pupil formula each of the next two years, a greater investment in special education, and new efforts to train, recruit, and retain more excellent teachers. The budget also includes a $75 million boost in funding for voluntary pre-K programs, which Rep. Koegel thinks is a key component to closing the achievement gap.
“To get kids off to the best possible start in their lives of learning, quality early childhood education is crucial,” Rep. Koegel said. “School districts across the state are looking to expand their offerings for our youngest learners, and families are seeing the benefits when this is made available. I hope my colleagues can see the wisdom of increasing these investments as the Governor has.”
In the coming days and weeks, legislative committees will start considering Gov. Dayton’s budget priorities, as well as other ideas from individual lawmakers. Currently, the state budget has a $1.4 billion surplus, and this number may be revised when the next economic forecast is released in just over a month.
Rep. Erin Koegel represents the citizens of parts of Coon Rapids, Blaine and Spring Lake Park in the Minnesota House. She encourages constituents to reach out to her about any issue. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-296-5369, and encourages constituents to sign up for periodic email updates at her House website, located at www.house.mn/37a.