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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL)

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Legislative Update: Budget Surplus, Wokery, Highwood Hills

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

I hope that you've been able to stay warm as we head into this Minnesota winter. The radio waves are buzzing with news of Minnesota's projected budget forecast. Stay tuned for my thoughts on the surplus, as well as activities on the Eastside.

Budget Forecast

$7.7 Billion Surplus Forecasted

This week, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office announced that Minnesota has a $7.7 billion projected surplus in the current biennium - and that's after we restore our rainy day fund.

This is good news for Minnesotans, and it means that, thanks to the leadership of Governor Walz and DFLers—even as Minnesotans battled through some of the most challenging months in our state’s history—Minnesota’s economy is strong. 

If anything, this gives us flexibility. We will work hard to invest in the needs of our community. This surplus reflects record profits of corporations, while we've seen neighbors struggle in a system of underinvestment in housing, education, and healthcare. We have a chance to change that this session, hopefully in cooperation with Senate leaders. Workers and families deserve to benefit from the economic growth that they are helping create.

House/Senate DFL Budget Press Conference

Xiong- The Wokery

Welcome The Wokery!

Last week, I had the pleasure of eating at this amazing new Asian Fusion restaurant in the neighborhood. The Wokery, owned by Eastsiders Sai Vang and Ly Chan Sophoas, specializes in southeast Asian dishes from pork belly, to pad thai, pho, and curry.

Support our neighbors and have some eggrolls- the best in town!

The Wokery

Highwood Hills

Highwood Hills Elementary Stays Open

I heard from many of you that it would be a detriment to our community to allow SPPS to shut down Highwood Hills. There were worries about the lack of culturally competent educators and transportation issues, as well as a general anxiety of having students move to an unfamiliar setting. I was happy to meet with Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard and the SPPS Board Directors to express your concerns. It's my pleasure to announce that they agreed that our community needs this school and removed it from the school closure list - Highwood Hills is staying right where it is.

Thank you to those who reached out to me on the issue, as well as our other Eastside Representatives, Athena Hollins and John Thompson, for working with me to address this.

If you're interested in hearing the discussion on SPPS' "Envision" plan, you can find a recording of the December 1st meeting below.

SPPS 12/1 Meeting



Keep In Touch

That's all that I have for this week! Thank you for reading this update. As always, please reach out to my office when you need assistance on state government issues. You can reach me at or (651) 296-4201.

Have a great week.

In solidarity,


Jay Xiong

State Representative