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News from Representative Erickson 07-11-2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dear Friends,

We received another round of good economic news yesterday. The Minnesota Management and Budget office announced that revenues exceeded projections in the February forecast by $463 million dollars.

Overall, during the 2012-2013 biennium under the Republican budget, the state went from a $5 billion dollar deficit to a $3.6 billion dollar surplus without raising a single dollar in taxes. The extra revenue generated due to Minnesota's growing economy allowed the state to pay off the entirety of the school shift passed in last biennium, and made significant progress toward paying off the school shift passed by the DFL-controlled legislature in 2009.

This is good news for our schools, and good news for our state's economy. There's no disputing that the policies put in place under the Republican budget over the objections of Governor Dayton and legislative Democrats have worked.

By holding the line on taxes, reducing wasteful spending, and making government more efficient and effective, Minnesota's economy has flourished. The state's unemployment rate has dropped from 7.6% to 5.3%. There were more than 87,000 new business filings, and tens of thousands of new jobs.

Unfortunately Democrats took us in the opposite direction this session. They needlessly increased taxes by an historic $2 billion dollars on Minnesotans at every income level—from the richest of the rich, to the poorest of the poor—to pay for $3 billion dollars in new spending. They passed onerous new taxes and fees on our farmers and small business owners.

They drained the health care access fund, shifted millions from the Alternative Payment System (APS) and other long-term care funds. They failed to follow through on their promise to pay back the money owed to our schools, extending the shift and adding an additional $50 million dollars to the debt owed to them in the process. The idea that the budget was passed without "smoke and mirrors" or "shifts and gimmicks" is simply untrue.

We know what works; we've seen the results. Minnesota flourishes when you make government more effective and efficient, and keep taxes low. Unfortunately, Democrats looked the other way, and plowed ahead with a budget that puts at risk these tremendous gains we've made.

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer.

Sondra Erickson
State Representative, District 15A


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