We’re in the final days of session, and the focus is now on the negotiations between the Minnesota House and Senate. With budget proposals having passed in both legislative bodies, conference committees made up of House and Senate members are crafting consensus legislation on their specific area of the budget. I’m extremely grateful to share that I’ve been appointed to the conference committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing.
While I’m hopeful we’ll reach a compromise on a budget to send to Governor Walz, there are some clear cut areas where the House’s proposed investments are building the budget Minnesotan’s deserve, and where the Senate simply comes up short.
The House’s E-12 Education budget is the culmination of conversations and testimony from students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Investing in our students and in our schools is one of the highlights of the House budget, with funding increases that are benefiting students in our community.
The school districts in our area would see the following increases in per-pupil funding over the next two years:
- Cleveland - $470
- Faribault - $779
- Kenyon-Wanamingo - $737
- New Prague Area - $467
- Northfield - $615
- Tri-City United - $582
- Waterville-Elysian-Morristown - $508
For the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing budget, we’ve been following a process similar to that of other conference committees. The House and Senate versions of this portion of the state’s budget are compared, and even with similar priorities, programs and initiatives can have different funding amounts between the legislative proposals. As we work to build a consensus on this part of the budget, the next leg of our conference committee work is dependent on negotiations among leadership.
House and Senate members of the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Conference Committee
Speaker Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, and Governor Walz have been meeting with other senior legislators to try and produce the financial targets for conference committees to craft their final bills. In a self-imposed deadline of Monday, May 6, we were hoping to have those financial targets, but the refusal of Senate leaders to take part in a meaningful compromise caused that deadline to be missed, and we’re still waiting to hear how much we can invest or cut in our conference committees.
Minnesota Values Budget
Despite the frustrating inaction of some in the Senate, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to come together to produce a budget for our state. While there are components in the Senate’s proposal I agree with, the vast majority of our House proposal does a better job of addressing the needs of Minnesotans all over the state.
For more on the House’s Minnesota Values Budget, you can read about the innovations and investments we’re making in health care, education, transportation, and taxes here. These are sensible, responsible investments that are backed up by the values Minnesotans hold dear, and I hope you’ll join me in urging my Senate colleagues to work with us so that we pass a budget Minnesota deserves.
Stay In Touch!
As always, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (651) 296-0171. I look forward to hearing your questions and comments on the legislative process.