Today we got some good news. Our projected budget deficit for the next biennium has shrunk from $1.1 billion to $627 million – an improvement of $463 million! This is further evidence that the budget agreement the Republican-led legislature put forward worked. When the state doesn’t raise taxes, we encourage more productivity and it results in increased revenue to the state. With a modest budget deficit, we absolutely do not need to be imposing new taxes on our businesses and hard-working families in Minnesota. It’s time for DFL legislators to calm their appetites for more tax increases and put their dessert forks down. Let’s work together to balance the budget without raising taxes. Minnesota will be better off for it.
This week, ASFCME and DFL legislators held a press conference to introduce House File 950. This is a bill that would unionize childcare providers. As a former childcare provider myself, I am strongly opposed to this bill. We do not needs unions getting involved in our small businesses. This is just another attempt by big unions to exert their influence where it does not belong. Small business owners and the children they care for do not deserve to be caught up in a political power grab to benefit union leadership and their partisan activities.
On Monday, the House is scheduled to take up the Health Insurance Exchange bill. Never before in the history of Minnesota has an entity been created with such enormous power and absolutely no oversight. The legislation being put forward offers virtually no data practices protections and permits the sharing of private and confidential information with state and federal agencies anytime it is deemed to be reasonably necessary to carry out the functions of the exchange. Not to mention that this bill offers no guarantees of lower price rates, better quality of care, or expanded access for consumers. I expect Monday’s debate to go well past the evening and into Tuesday morning. I encourage you to tune in and follow the debate.
On Saturday I will be holding my usual morning coffee meetings with constituents from 10:00-11:30 at the Alexandria Caribou. Then I will be heading north to New York Mills in Otter Tail County for constituent meetings at the Eagle Café from 12:30 to 1:30.
As the legislative session moves forward, I will continue to keep you updated. For legislative updates, you can “like” my official Facebook page. Also, if you are on Twitter, you can follow me at @RepMaryFranson.
I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by 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: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.