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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL)

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Legislative Update: Budget Outlook Improves

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget announced a state budget surplus of $1.87 billion for fiscal years 2016-17. After $665 million is put into state reserve accounts, as required by law, that number is reduced to $1.2 billion. The forecast is good news, but many ordinary Minnesotans haven’t felt the economic recovery.

Our growing budget surplus confirms what we’ve been seeing– that our economy continues to grow and recover, but there is still considerable work to do in terms of sharing that prosperity with everyone in the community. This surplus gives us the chance to raise incomes and opportunity for hard working families, students, and seniors– not just the wealthy few.

The forecast revealed that Minnesota’s economy continues to strengthen modestly, even as surveys show confidence in economic outlook weakening. Minnesota’s unemployment rate is down to 3.7 percent. I will make my main focus in 2016 expanding incomes and growing economic opportunity for middle-class families.

The forecast highlights the urgency required to help Minnesota families who have been left behind in this recovery. That means using this surplus to invest in job creation, education, and property tax relief, so middle-class families can establish long-term prosperity. We also need to finish the job of funding transportation infrastructure priorities that impact every family and business in our state, and I think this positive news will help us get there.

The next economic forecast will be in late February 2016. The 2016 Legislative Session begins on March 8th. A primary focus of the next legislative session will be to pass a robust bonding bill to create jobs and to help local communities stop property tax increases on homeowners, renters and small businesses.

If you have questions or concerns about the forecast, or any other legislative issue, you can reach me by email at or phone at 651-296-9889.

Have a good weekend!

Cheryl Youakim

State Representative

PS – Two sports shout-outs! Tonight at 6:30pm Hopkins High School’s own Samantha Seliger-Swenson will play with the University of Minnesota Gophers Women’s Volleyball team against Jackson State in the first round of the NCAA national tournament (the Gophers are ranked #2 in the nation)!! Samantha was named ‘Freshman of the Year’ in the Big 10! Good luck ladies!! And if you’re a running fan, the Hopkins High School Boys Varsity Cross Country Team ran and won the NXN Heartland regional and will advance to the national cross country race in Portland, Oregon on December 5th. The boys are currently ranked #2 in one of the national polls. Good luck tomorrow!!