We are in the final days of the legislative session, which is constitutionally mandated to end by midnight on Monday, May 18 in order to avoid a special session. I am hopeful that we will get done on time, and have been disappointed with the House Republican majority’s reluctance to negotiate with Governor Dayton—particularly on education funding.
Some context: Several weeks ago, the majority in the House passed an education funding bill that would increase the basic per-pupil formula by only 0.6% - below both the rate of inflation and the rate of enrollment growth. (I discussed this and several other omnibus bills in a previous legislative update.) Over the last few weeks, the House majority has been negotiating a final budget deal with the Senate and the Governor, and yesterday, a tentative agreement was announced between the House and Senate majorities. As part of the agreement, the House majority has insisted that the DFL Senate agree to a $400 million E-12 budget target - one that would still result in considerable layoffs and cuts to schools.
With a $2 billion budget surplus, we have a unique opportunity to invest in our kids, including in early education. Governor Dayton has made clear that he would veto the $400 million budget target as inadequate. My House DFL colleagues and I stand with Governor Dayton. You can read here the letter that we sent earlier today.
Other aspects of the budget deal are still being sorted through, with conference committees meeting through the night. I'll send further updates as the details become more clear. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with your questions, comments and concerns.
Thanks for the honor of serving our community,
State Representative, District 64B
321 State Office Building