The legislative session is humming along. We’ve returned from the Easter / Passover Holiday break, and members are focused on working out the differences between the House and Senate budget bills. Once the Republicans in control of each body set jointly agree on budget numbers, they can begin to hammer out their differences. After that, with their reconciled budget proposal in place, they can begin working with Governor Dayton to come to agreement on the budget he proposed in January.
When he announced his budget, Governor Dayton said, “Minnesota is doing better – much better than it was before. But too many Minnesotans are still being left behind. We can and must do even better. My budget would continue making the investments our state needs to create opportunity for every Minnesotan. It would deliver excellent educations for all our students, support job creation across our state and create cleaner, healthier futures for all Minnesotans.”
In the spirit of bi-partisan cooperation and doing what’s best for everyone in Minnesota, it is my fervent hope that Senate and House Republicans are prepared to work with Governor Dayton and find common ground. I know more people than ever are following what’s happening in Saint Paul and writing emails, calling elected leaders and making their voices heard. That’s exactly what we need, even stronger citizen engagement. I’ll continue to keep you update with developments at the Capitol as this legislative session comes to its conclusion.
Infrastructure and Jobs Bill
Months ago Governor Dayton released his statewide bonding jobs and infrastructure proposal. The Republicans in the Senate have released their proposal as well. And my DFL colleagues and I who are members of the Capital Investment Committee have also submitted a careful and reasoned proposal. But with less than four weeks left in the legislative session, House Republicans haven’t released their infrastructure bill.
This delay is alarming, especially since we haven’t had a jobs and infrastructure bill in three years. The people of Minnesota and Rochester cannot wait as we watch our bridges, dams, schools and other vital infrastructure crumble.
This week I participated in a press conference to call attention to the need for a bonding bill.
Rochester Earthfest Expo
During the Earth Day weekend, I visited the Earthfest Expo in Rochester. It was really nice to visit with people who care about our environment and understand the threat climate change poses to our state. It was also nice to see the electric and hybrid cars and the many clean energy businesses such as solar installers who are thriving in Rochester. Our future economy depends on innovative new industries like the ones we see popping up in Minnesota.
At the Earthfest Expo in Rochester on Sunday, April 23rd.
Visiting with Constituents
Having conversations with the people of our district last summer and fall proved invaluable in preparing me for my first legislative session working for you in the Minnesota House. After the legislature finishes this session and successfully passes a budget that invests in the priorities that make Minnesota great, I’ll be heading back out hear from you about the issues you care about. After all, there’s no substitute for direct, face-to-face conversation, and I look forward to having them with you.
As always, it’s a privilege to be your voice at the Capitol. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any issues or concerns you may have. If you’re in Saint Paul, feel free to contact my office to setup a time to meet.