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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL)

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Legislative Update – December 20, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

Special Session

The on-again, off-again talk about a special session to deal with the high cost of health care premiums, tax relief for individuals and businesses, and bonding for infrastructure projects resulted in a complete break-down in discussions between the Speaker of the House and Governor Dayton. So, there will be no special session this year meaning that essential projects in our area, such as the bridge over the rail tracks on Hanson Boulevard, the widening of Highway 10 from Hanson to Round Lake Boulevard and the upgrading of 105th Avenue at the National Sports Center will not happen this year and may even be delayed until 2018 when a bonding bill is due to be considered again. I am particularly disappointed that our leaders were unable to put their differences aside and secure health care premium relief for those families who don't know how they are going to pay high health insurance costs.

Budget Surplus

In early December the Office of Budget and Management projected a $1.4 billion budget surplus for fiscal years 2018-2019. A more accurate analysis will be made in February and that will give the legislature a solid estimate of what revenues and expenditures can be expected in the next biennium. The February forecast that be the base for budgets being prepared by the governor and both houses of the legislature. In addition to the projected surplus, the state is projected to have a positive fund balance of $678 million at the end of this month. Combined actual and projected surpluses mean close to $2 billion in additional spending or tax relief should be expected in the next legislative session.

Stay in Touch

As I move from the Minnesota House of Representatives to the Minnesota Senate, I hope you will stay in touch. I always appreciate hearing from you.

My new e-mail will be My office is room 2411 in the Senate office building and my phone number will be 651-296-2556

Holiday Greetings

I wish you and your family and friends a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year. If you will be traveling over the holidays, I wish you a safe journey!