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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Anne Claflin (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 13, 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019

Dear neighbors,

After many long days and nights on the floor, my House colleagues and I have finished approving our entire budget! I believe that our state budget and policies should reflect the values that we share as Minnesotans, and this budget does just that. Here’s some of the highlights:

E-12 Education

The E-12 education plan was the first budget that we approved. Years of underfunding have forced Minnesota schools to layoff teachers, increase class sizes, and resort to bond referendums and operating levies that create higher costs for local taxpayers. Our E-12 education budget would change that by increasing per-pupil funding by three percent in the first year and another two percent in the second.

Under the House budget, funding for South Washington County schools would increase by approximately $511 per student over two years. Schools in Hastings and South St. Paul would see about $558 and $639 more for each student, respectively, and funding for the North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale district would increase by $631 per student.

Increased funding helps support students inside and outside the classroom. Unfortunately, the Senate budget invests less in our schools. Here’s a comparison of how the budgets would affect school districts in our area and across the state:

Funding over base (total, by district)

School District

House Budget 2020

Senate Budget 2020

House Budget 2021

Senate Budget 2021

Hastings

$1,576,701

$336,648

$2,407,587

$494,504

North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale

$3,836,929

$867,552

$6,573,995

$1,305,271

South St. Paul

$1,302,312

$275,161

$2,082,577

$406,019

South Washington County

$5,446,795

$1,460,020

$9,705,042

$2,140,013

Per student funding (total, statewide)

Fiscal Year

Base Funding

House Budget

Senate Budget

2019

$11,699

-

-

2020

$11,872

$12,196

$11,952

2021

$12,060

$12,592

$12,176

A fact sheet with more information is available here.

Jobs and Energy

As a member of the Jobs and Economic Development Division, I’m proud of a lot in our jobs and energy budget, especially measures that support Minnesota workers, workforce development, and a vibrant clean energy economy. The budget includes paid family and medical leave and earned sick and safe time, policies that give workers time to take care of their families and themselves. It also strengthens protections against wage theft.

Our budget also addresses the threat of climate change by setting a path towards achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050. This will create thousands of high-quality jobs and be more cost-effective than our current energy system, which relies on fossil fuels. I introduced the energy storage provisions, which will expand our renewable energy resources and help Minnesota meet this goal! Companies across the state agree that this is good for our economy. You can read more about it in this article from MPR.

Environment and Natural Resources

I’m particularly excited about our environment and natural resources budget. Minnesotans have made it abundantly clear that they value clean drinking water, swimmable and fishable lakes, deer that our safe to harvest and eat, pollinators to protect our future, and equitable access to the outdoors. The budget includes funding to address complicated, long-term environmental issues, like aquatic invasive species and emerald ash borer, and to protect community health and natural resources. It also provides Minnesotans with greater access to the outdoors!

Moving Forward

Now that the House and Senate have both completed their budgets, members of both bodies will meet in conference committees to resolve their differences. I’m closely following these conference committees so I can keep you updated and ensure that we reach the best possible compromise. You can follow along with their progress and view a schedule of public hearings here.

I’ll provide more updates as we approach the end of the session. Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and opinions.

Sincerely,

Anne Claflin
State Representative

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