Dear Granite City Neighbors,
It’s a busy week in St. Paul, with much of it being spent on the House floor passing the culmination of this year’s committee work. Before I get into these House proposals, I’d like to share the recent news of the bipartisan compromise on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund and bonuses to frontline workers.
In what has been two extremely high priorities for me this year, this week a deal was finally struck to replenish the state’s depleted UI trust fund and send checks to the Minnesotans who kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic.
We’re one of the only divided state legislatures in the nation, but despite that, we continue to show work can still get done when we put our heads together and prioritize the people who sent us here to get this done. The nature of compromise is not everyone gets what they want, but this will ultimately be a step in the right direction for our state.
You can read more on this issue here.
The House Proposals
We have already passed our House proposals on Legacy, Agriculture, Housing, Broadband, Transportation, State Government, Veterans, Pensions, Education, and the Environment (I encourage you to click these links to read nonpartisan reports on these bills). Today, we’ll be debating our Judiciary, Public Safety, and Higher Education proposals. Next week, we’ll be debating our proposals on Health and Human Services, Taxes, Climate, Labor, and Workforce Development.
These are all incredibly important and impactful proposals, but as I serve on both the Early Childhood and Education Finance committees, I’d like to focus on that bill, along with the legislation I authored within it.
I authored several key proposals in the bill, including an increase in special education funding, professional development for science teachers, investments in regional libraries, and support for early childhood family education programs.
One of the many reasons I'm proud to be a St. Cloud 742 parent is because our district is a regional leader in providing special education services. Unfortunately, the state of Minnesota owes our school district $12 million per year in unfunded special education mandates. Passing this legislation and closing the special education cross subsidy will ensure our special education students can reach their fullest potential, and all of our students have the support they need to succeed.
My proposal increases the amount of each school district’s special education cross subsidy paid by the state from 6.43% to 55.895% in fiscal year 2023 and 56.9405% in 2024 and later. I also included a provision shifting payments for special education aid so districts receive 90% of the aid in the year they generate it, in the same manner they receive general education revenue and most other school aid.
Things will be moving fast in the final month of session, but I always have time to touch base with you. If you have any questions about our proposals and what they’d mean for St. Cloud, please feel free to call or email me. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at (651) 296-6612.
To keep up with me, you can read my latest column in the St. Cloud Times - this one is on my public safety proposals to help our police departments recruit and retain officers. You can also like and follow my Facebook page.
It’s an honor to represent our community in the Minnesota House, and I hope to hear from you!
Rep. Dan Wolgamott