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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rod Hamilton (R)

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

ST. PAUL – Recently Governor Mark Dayton unveiled his budget priorities for Minnesota’s next two year budget cycle, and after giving it careful review State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) said the plan falls short in at least two areas.

“One of the glaring items I noticed was the lack of investment to people with disabilities and our nursing homes,” Hamilton said. “We need to take care of those that have a more difficult time caring for themselves, and I’m disappointed both of these areas were basically ignored in the Governor’s budget despite massive spending increases.”

Hamilton said the governor is recommending a new General Fund budget of $42 billion for the 2016-17 biennium. This is a $3 billion increase from the previous budget. In 2012-13, spending totaled roughly $34 billion.

Currently, Minnesota is projected to see a $1 billion surplus, but that total will become more definite once the latest budget projections are unveiled at the end of the month.

“Lawmakers must decide whether to return the surplus to the taxpayers or spend it,” Hamilton said. “It’s my hope that if the House chooses to spend any of this money, it is used to assist nursing homes and long-term care facilities. They are among the largest employers in our district and we need to make sure we are properly investing in them because it’s the right thing to do.”