Last week was very busy as we evaluated the budget presented by Governor Dayton. After his meeting with my colleagues and I to explain his spending plan for the next biennium, I have concerns. His budget increases general spending by more than $1,224 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota, placing an unnecessary burden on Minnesota families. The Governor’s budget funds things like private planes for him and his commissioners, rental space for Senators, and a large investment in MNsure, which we were told would be primarily self-sustaining. Perhaps most concerning, Governor Dayton’s budget does not prioritize the needs of seniors.
One of my top priorities is caring for our seniors and the hardworking employees that tend to their needs. I have authored several bills that aim to ensure quality senior care in Minnesota: HF562 brings nursing facility operating payment rates in Wright County into line with our surrounding counties, HF420 provides tax credits to students earning a degree in a STEM or medical field (including long-term care), and HF551 creates a grant program for students who gain valuable on-the-job training at an employer, such as a long-term care center, while attending school for a degree that will allow them to work in the field. With these policies and others guiding the discussion of long-term care needs in Minnesota, I am confident that we will be able to pass and implement policies that provide our parents and grandparents with high quality long-term care as they age.
I am honored to serve a community that cares so deeply about its friends and neighbors. This past weekend, I was excited to have the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the Goodwill Easter Seals in Monticello. As one of the largest nonprofits in Minnesota, Goodwill Easter Seals serves more than 30,000 Minnesotans every year with its services. The facility is a great addition to our community!
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your legislative concerns or any other issues of which I can be of help. You can schedule a meeting with me in my office in St. Paul by calling my Legislative Assistant, Rachel Bucholz, at (651) 296-5884, or you can reach me directly via email at email@example.com. Keep up on my work in the legislature by following me on Facebook and Twitter, and encourage your friends and neighbors to stay informed by signing up for my email updates here.
It is an honor to serve our great community.
Rep. Marion O’Neill