Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With the recent snow and last week's cold weather I think we can say that the winter season is officially here. I expect that families are also very busy with school events, winter sports, college students returning home after finals, and planning for the holidays. It's a fun and also frantic time of year; I hope you find many moments to simply enjoy it all! Things are equally busy around the capitol as our House caucus finalizes offices, staffing, and committee assignments. In addition, many of us are preparing legislation in advance of the start of session, which officially begins on Jan. 8th. I'll let you know in the coming weeks what committee's I will be serving on for the 2019-20 biennium.
For now, I want to make sure you have recent information on our state budget forecast. Last week state economists at Minnesota Management & Budget announced the state budget forecast, which indicated a surplus exceeding $1.5 billion for the state for the next two years. Minnesota’s economy is thriving, and this figure reflects our economic strength. In addition, our state’s budget reserve – also known as the “rainy day” fund – will receive $491 million and is now at a record high of over $2 billion. With such a large surplus and more funds in savings than we’ve ever had, there is reason to be optimistic about Minnesota’s economic future.
This surplus also demonstrates that Republicans’ approach of tax cuts and responsible government spending have worked for Minnesota. Holding government spending at a reasonable level and allowing individuals and businesses to keep more of their money are key components to economic growth. As we crafted our state budgets the last two years, we kept this in mind and made it a priority to put more money back in the pockets of Minnesotans and ensure state government lived within its means.
As we enter 2019 with a surplus of this size, there is absolutely no reason to raise taxes and take more money from hardworking taxpayers. A surplus means our economy is doing well, but it also means Minnesotans are being overtaxed. Our state government now has the revenue it needs to operate and fund our priorities. That’s why in the upcoming legislative session I intend to oppose new tax increases on Minnesota families – such as a gas tax hike – and will instead advocate for further tax relief and investments in needed areas.
Staying in Touch
As always, if you ever have any questions or concerns about state government or legislative issues, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635. I appreciate the input I receive from our communities and would love to hear from you.