Yesterday we received our fourth consecutive positive economic forecast from Minnesota Management & Budget. The February forecast revealed an additional $295 million dollars in revenue for 2012-2013 which will go toward paying back the school shift. Our shortfall for 2014-2015 shrank from $1.1 billion last November to just $627 million dollars.
This encouraging news is yet another sign that Minnesota's economy is on the rebound. Thanks to the pro-growth policies and fiscal restraint by Republican majorities in 2011-2012, Minnesota has generated billions of dollars in additional tax revenue, created over 50,000 new jobs, and seen the unemployment rate drop to 5.5%.
Governor Dayton and the DFL should think twice before continuing to pursue an irresponsible $3.7 billion dollar tax increase to solve a $627 million dollar budget gap. We need to continue to promote policies that will foster economic growth and continued job creation.
Input Fisheries Group
On Wednesday evening, I attended the Input Fisheries Group meeting in Aitkin County. We spent four hours listening to the DNR attempt to explain their unscientific data on Lake Mille Lacs. It was a frustrating evening for me and the other folks who attended the packed town hall meeting to learn that much of what the DNR knows about Mille Lacs is based on professional guesswork.
While I appreciate the attention that the DNR gives Lake Mille Lacs, much of the meeting was spent confusing us – resorters, area anglers, PERM members, and guides. Worse, many questions remain unanswered; what are the choices ahead for the walleye season? Will it be a two-bag limit? Will it be catch and release at some point? Will it be a protect slot of 18-20? It remains to be seen what the final decisions will be from the DNR, but I worry it will reflect the wishes of the DNR more than what would be best for the Lake and those who use it.
Next Thursday, HF375 will be heard in the Health and Human Services Committee. HF375 would increase the reimbursement rate for Elim Nursing Home in Princeton. Several Elim employees are scheduled to testify in favor of the bill.
On March 9th, Senator Dave Brown and I will be attending the Milaca Expo, and will be available to answer any questions you have about what's going on at the Capitol.
Saturday, March 9th
Milaca High School
500 Minnesota 23
Milaca, MN 56353
For more information on the Milaca Expo, please visit the Milaca Chamber of Commerce website at http://www.milacachamber.com.
I invite you to "like" my legislative Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest news and events at the Capitol. You can find my page by clicking here.
Have a great weekend,
State Representative, District 15A