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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Duane Sauke (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 9, 2019

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
 
The Minnesota House completed the process of passing our budget proposals off the House floor last week. The Legislature is now focused on negotiating differences between the House and Senate in conference committees on specific budget areas.
 
This is happening as leadership from both legislative bodies and Governor Walz meet to discuss the big picture structural framework that will in turn help conference committees finish their work. The last few weeks of session can tend to be hectic, and it’s often not clear to the general public how the process is moving along. To combat the confusion and promote transparency, Governor Walz and legislative leaders imposed several deadlines in May, leading up to our constitutional adjournment on May 20.
 
The first of these self-imposed deadlines was on May 1, when each legislative body was supposed to complete their respective budget proposals. I’m proud to say the House met this goal early. This week saw our second deadline pass, which was for House and Senate leadership to agree on financial targets for budget areas by May 6. Due to the inability of Senate Leadership to adequately engage in a meaningful conversation around budget targets, despite proposed compromises from House leadership and Governor Walz, the deadline was not met. This puts us in danger of missing our next self-imposed deadline of May 13, when consensus budget legislation is supposed to return to the House and Senate floors for approval.
 
The refusal of our colleagues in the Minnesota Senate to recognize the crucial investments made in the House budget is frustrating, but I’m confident in the ability of smart, stable budgeting to win out. Here’s a quick snapshot of the impact the House’s proposed E-12 Education budget would have on our community:
 


E-12 Education
 
The DFL House has proposed a historic investment in E-12 education across the state. The $900 million in new investments would increase per-pupil funding, keep our schools safe, address our special education funding shortfall, and allow schools to hire more support staff.
 
In Rochester, the per-pupil increase would bring an additional $592 per student over the next two years. We’d also be delivering more opportunities for our students to gain college credit while still in high school, or start them down the path of developing and honing their skills in career and technical programs.
 
Our education budget and the rest of our proposals from the House are the product of values-based conversations that we’ve had all over Minnesota. We’re building a budget that prioritizes what we hold dear. Simply put, the near $0 in investments from the Senate doesn’t reflect what Minnesotans deserve.
 
 
How to Contact Me
 
I believe our work at the State Capitol is at its best when it’s inclusive and collaborative, and I want to hear from you. You can reach me at (651) 296-9249, or rep.duane.sauke@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Sincerely,
 
Duane Sauke
State Representative
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