This week, the House DFL leadership put forward their K12 education omnibus bill. The proposal would spend $15.7 billion over the next biennium. As the mother of three kids in public schools, making sure our kids receive a world-class education is a priority for me. However, I have deep concerns that the omnibus bill that the House Democrats put forward focuses too much on funding bureaucracy over putting dollars in the classroom on student learning. Spending $4.5 million for “regional centers of excellence” and $1 million for a “school climate center” are just a couple examples of some of the wasteful spending on bureaucracy in this bill. It’s my hope that we can work together in a bipartisan way to craft a K12 education bill that funds our schools and provides our students with an education that is second to none.
House Democrats also rolled out their $858 million bonding proposal this week. Generally, even-numbered years are reserved for doing bonding bills while the odd-numbered years focus on passing a budget. Given the fact that Democrats have yet to produce a comprehensive budget, it seems early to be talking about borrowing more money from taxpayers. If we do end up doing a bonding bill this session, the focus should be on critical infrastructure needs like repairing deteriorating roads and bridges and not pet local projects.
In the coming weeks, we will see House Democrats introduce more of their omnibus bills. I’m hoping many of them will be the product of bipartisan cooperation, but I’m fearful these they will be ominous omnibus (tongue twister!) bills.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be at the Caribou Coffee in Alexandria (north location) at 8:45 to about 10:15. I’m particularly interested to get your input on your thoughts on the issue of civil unions and marriage.
If you haven’t received one of my surveys, I encourage my constituents to fill it out online on my House webpage.
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.