The 2015 legislative session has officially come to a close as lawmakers returned to St. Paul on Friday, June 12th for a special session to re-pass three budget bills that had been vetoed by Governor Dayton. While I am disappointed that the governor vetoed these bills—which had broad bipartisan support—I am pleased that we were able to come to an agreement and complete the work that Minnesotans sent us to St. Paul to complete.
I am proud of the work we were able to accomplish this session, especially considering we are only one half of one branch of state government. My colleagues and I in the House held our ground and were able to defeat the largest proposed gas tax in state history, Governor Dayton’s intrusive, universal pre-kindergarten program—all the while pushing for a full 2 percent increase in the per pupil formula in our education budget, prioritizing our seniors, and passing a budget with the third lowest percent increase in general fund spending in over 50 years.
The three budget bills we passed on Friday included the K-12 Education omnibus budget bill, Agriculture and Environment budget omnibus budget bill, and the Jobs and Economic Development omnibus budget bill. It is worth noting that none of these renegotiated budget bills that have now been signed into law by the governor are dramatically different from the original bills that he vetoed. Some highlights from the three budget bills include:
Jobs and Economic Development
Agriculture and Environment
This session we proved that state government can prioritize existing revenue and invest in the things that matter most to Minnesotans without raising taxes. Looking ahead to next year, we have nearly $850 million on the state’s bottom line and I expect tax relief and a comprehensive transportation plan to be among the top priorities at the legislature next session.
Thanks for taking time to read this week’s update. As always, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.