First, let me congratulate all of our local seniors on their graduation! Our area is proud of you, and wish you the best in the future.
Update on Bills
Regarding the end of the legislative session, you probably remember from my previous update, the House and Senate passed an $800 million tax relief bill for middle-class Minnesotans. The governor vetoed this bill, putting these tax cuts at risk. The House passed the bill on a 123-10 vote, and would have provided relief with $13 million for our military veterans, $150 million for working families, and $146 million for every small business in the state. The House has agreed to make the one-word change the governor requested, but he refuses to call a special session to re-pass this bill and sign it into law.
The House also passed a bipartisan bonding/transportation proposal to provide $700 million in road and bridge funding for our state. Although we passed this bill, the Senate tried to add an amendment at the last minute and ran out of time. Because the Senate put another light rail train over road and bridge funding, Minnesotans lost. Within the legislation the House passed was funding for Highway 10 to add another lane between Round Lake Blvd. and Hanson Blvd., plans to fix the train crossing at Hanson Blvd, and money to start the cleanup of the Waste Disposal Engineering Landfill. Although the Senate failed to pass this bill, I’ll continue to push for these projects if there’s a special session.
What’s puzzling is these bills shouldn’t be all or nothing. Let’s take what we agree on - the tax bill - and make sure we provide needed tax relief for middle-class families. While I’m hopeful we can come to an agreement on the transportation/bonding bill, I don’t think it should be joined with the tax legislation. All it takes is changing one word to give $800 million of tax cuts to small business owners, military veterans, working families, and recent college grads. Let’s get it done, governor.
What’s most frustrating is when wide bipartisan support is pushed aside. This year, we passed an omnibus pension bill to make our pension system more sustainable. The bill - which was chief authored by DFL Senator Sandy Pappas - passed the House 129-3 and the Senate 61-1. Rarely do we see omnibus bills receive this type of overwhelming, bipartisan support. Unfortunately, Governor Dayton bowed to the will of the unions, and vetoed the bill. By vetoing this bill, it shows the governor is more interested in politics than helping the future of our state.
It seems like we just started summer, but Fourth of July celebrations are just around the corner. Coon Rapids is holding their annual parade on July 2 at 4 p.m. Be sure to click here for more information.
The following weekend is the Andover Family Fun Fest and Parade, July 8-9. This is a free event for the whole family and features a parade, car show, and children’s activities. Feel free to click here to find out more about the event.
Please Contact Me
As we discuss a special session, it’s important for you to contact me. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my office at 651-296-4231. You can also send me mail to my office address: 437 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155. I hope to hear from you!
Have a great week, and congrats, graduates!