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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bob Dettmer (R)

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End of Session Legislative Update

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The legislative session has come to an end, and it has been a privilege to again serve as your state representative for the past two years. Although legislators will not be around the Capitol too much in the coming months, please know that I am always available should you need help with a matter of state government or want to share ideas on how to make our great state even better.

Several key bills ended this year’s session including a bonding bill and a cash bill that will spend state dollars on projects and infrastructure across the state.

Here are some spending highlights from those bills:

Bonding Bill: 

  • $126.3 million for the continuation of Capitol Restoration
  • $55.395 million for Minneapolis, St. Paul projects (Brian Coyles Center, Hennepin Center for the Arts, Nicollet Mall, Children’s Museum, Palace Theater, Ordway, TPT Building Renovations, Sculpture Garden)
  • $38.613 million for roads and bridges

Cash Bill:

  • $50.743 million for roads and bridges
  • $22 million for Lewis and Clark Regional Water System
  • $35 million for Rochester Civic Center Expansion
  • $11.56 million for St. Cloud Convention Center
  • $3.4 million for snow making equipment in Duluth

It is unfortunate that there was not a stronger emphasis on infrastructure in the bonding bill. Democrats insisted on building themselves a $89.5 million office building and are only spending $88 million on roads and bridges statewide in this infrastructure package. They also weren’t satisfied with spending $846 million on a bonding bill, going above and beyond in spending with cash for items like snow making equipment, theaters and convention centers.

Minnesota taxpayers deserve better.

Other bills passed at the end of session include another supplemental tax bill which remedies more of last year’s mistakes when the legislature unnecessarily raised $2.4 billion in new taxes and fees, a medical cannabis bill and the supplemental budget bill which once again increases state spending.

I fought hard this session for your priorities, looking to limit government spending and stop needless waste of taxpayer dollars. I don’t believe many of the bills passed this year met those requirements, but Republicans did push back on some of last year’s reckless tax and spend policies—and that’s good news for Minnesotans.

Stillwater Prison’s 100th Anniversary

Last week, I was able to tour Stillwater Correctional Facility during their 100 year celebration event. It was great to meet with officers and staff, and see firsthand the hard work they do to keep our communities and inmates safe.

As always, thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative.