I am looking forward to updating you on some of what has been taking place at the Capitol. The first committee deadline is this week and a large majority of our work has been taking place in committees.
Bill Hearings and Introductions
A bill that I am chief authoring, House File 1152, was heard before two committees this week. On Wednesday, I presented this bill before the Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee with another hearing taking place in the Health and Human Services Reform Committee on Friday.
HF 1152 increases accessibility to vaccinations for nursing home and long term care employees by establishing a working group to assess this problem. It also establishes solutions to ensure that individuals who are being cared for in a nursing home or a long term facility are not put at risk.
Additionally, I invite you to read a recent editorial by the Star Tribune in support of my bill, House File 1425. This bill would establish a pilot program that would work to provide state funds via competitive grants to nonprofits that offer low-interest car loans or leases and affordable car repairs to low-income individuals who are struggling to find work due to the lack of a working vehicle. Financial management counseling would be included in the deal.
The bill has been referred to the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee.
Governor Releases Supplemental Budget Proposal
Governor Dayton released his supplemental budget proposal this past Tuesday which now includes a $3.7 billion increase in general funding spending over the current biennium. This raises the state’s budget from $39.3 billion in 2014-15 to a proposed $43 billion budget in 2016-17.
The Governor’s proposal spends all but $13 million of the state’s surplus.
Minnesota families expect us to spend their tax dollars wisely, not wastefully. Unfortunately, the Governor is not using the additional dollars on what he claims is his “priority” – instead he insists on increasing taxes to pay for transportation. Our state’s budget should reflect the values of Minnesota families.
2015 Legislative Survey
I encourage all of you to complete my 2015 legislative survey. You can take the survey by going to my House webpage and clicking the “2015 Legislative Survey” link on the right-hand side of the screen.
It is my hope that as many constituents as possible complete my survey and weigh in on some of the important issues that are being debated at the Capitol. I am anxiously awaiting your feedback.
If you would prefer to fill out the survey by hand, please contact my office and we will mail a paper copy to your address.
Staying in Touch
Thank you to those who attended last Saturday’s in district “office hours” event at Bernie’s. It was great to meet with so many of you and learn about the issues that matter most to you. I am looking forward to hosting more of these events in the future as it is a great way to come together to hear a variety of viewpoints from folks within our community.
Please encourage your family, friends, or co-workers to sign up for my weekly email updates. They can sign up by visiting my official House page.
As always, do not hesitate to contact me to discuss any questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at email@example.com. You can also stay connected with me by visiting my Facebook page and my Twitter account.