What a weekend! We've been putting in long hours at the Capitol putting the finishing touches on our 2016-2017 budget. We will finish passing the remainder of our budget bills this evening before we adjourn at midnight. I can't tell you enough what an honor and privilege it has been to be here putting in long hours fighting for you, and being your voice here in Saint Paul. The hours may be long, but they are worth it, and the end result is a good bipartisan budget for Minnesotans.
With shared government, we have demonstrated that legislators on both sides can come together and get our work done in a timely fashion. Not everyone gets what they want, but that's one of the features of shared government and what compromise is all about.
Some highlights from our budget bills:
$400 million in NEW funding for schools, including significant new funding for early learning programs
Funding to combat avian flu
Nursing home reforms that will result in more fair and increased funding for nursing homes, especially in Greater Minnesota
New road funding for small cities with fewer than 5,000 residents
Important mental health programs and reforms
I will have more updates for you down the road. I will plan to send out a few more e-mails once I am back home and have some time to re-charge.
I look forward to many conversations this summer about this budget and what it means for our state. If you have a group who would like an update on the end of the legislative session, I'm happy to come visit or arrange a meeting. Please contact me or call my office to set that up. I want to keep you as informed as possible.
Thank you for your continued words of encouragement and support. It's truly an honor to be here fighting for you.