Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2019 legislative session officially ended at midnight on Monday. Unfortunately, much of our work is unresolved which means that there will be a special session in the coming days or weeks to finish our work.
I am shocked at how poorly House Democrats have managed this year’s legislative session. In fact, House Democrats sent only one budget bill this session to Governor Walz’s desk to be signed. Not since 1985 have so few budget bills made their way to the Governor’s desk.
Late Sunday evening, the DFL House Speaker, GOP Senate Majority Leader, and Governor Walz announced that they had reached a global budget agreement. As part of the deal, Democrats agreed to drop their proposed 70% gas tax increase.
This is good news and something that should be celebrated as a victory for all Minnesotans.
Unfortunately, the Senate agreed to Democrats’ demands to reinstate the sick tax. This is a tax levied on most patient services in Minnesota and will directly increase the cost of health care.
That's about all we know right now as the remaining budget bills are still being negotiated. I hope to have more information for you on a final deal in the days ahead.
Invitation to Town Hall
I am hosting representatives from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, Clean Water Council, and Department of Natural Resources for a series of public informational meetings on June 4.
The purpose of the meetings is to provide an overview of the state’s Legacy Conservation Funds and to discuss how local officials, groups and interested parties can use these funds to help with local conservation and environmental efforts or initiatives.
Kathy Varble, the DNR’s coordinator of the Conservation Partners Legacy Grants, Paul Gardner, the Administrator of the Clean Water Council, and Mark Johnson and Joe Pavelko, of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, will join me at the meetings.
Staying in Touch
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts and concerns regarding budget negotiations or any matter related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great week,