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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update (3-27-15)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

The legislature is set to begin its week-long Easter/Passover break this coming Monday. It is refreshing to get away from St. Paul and spend time in the district after many long committee hearings and debates on the House floor.

I wish a blessed Easter and Passover holiday to you and your family and that you are able to enjoy some of the warmer weather as we welcome spring.

Here is an update on some of what’s been happening in St. Paul this last week.

All Day Four-Year-Old Proposal

Minnesota could be among the first states in the nation to offer free, full-day early learning programs for every four-year old in the state if a proposal by Governor Dayton were to become law. The Governor’s proposal comes with a $343 million price tag.

The Governor’s pre-kindergarten proposal continues government’s encroachment into family and privately owned childcare here in Minnesota. This massive increase in state-run and state-sponsored childcare will make it harder for private childcare homes and pre-schools to keep costs down and compete. Parents will be left with fewer choices and less competition which will result in lower quality childcare and pre-school options.

I agree that improving access to quality pre-kindergarten is an important component to closing our state’s achievement gap. However, the Governor’s proposal ends up being a costly approach as well as one that takes choice away from parents.

Parents want to be able to choose the type of pre-kindergarten programs for their children. Some families prefer a religious preschool program or a Montessori program. Ultimately, it is about choice and the Governor’s proposal will continue to shrink the number of family, faith-based, and privately run preschool providers.

Transportation Plan Unveiled

Earlier this week, Republican legislative leaders unveiled our ten year, $7 billion transportation proposal. Unlike Governor Dayton’s plan, which would increase the gas tax by a minimum of 16 cents/gallon, our plan would fulfill the state’s transportation needs without raising taxes.

Our proposal would re-purpose revenue that is already being collected from existing taxes into a new Transportation Stability Fund. This revenue would come from existing sales taxes on auto parts, the Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax, the rental vehicle tax, and the sales tax on rental vehicles. In total, this would account for $3.078 billion.

Additionally, our plan would utilize $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning MNDOT resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.

In total, this plan would will repair or replace 15,500 lane miles and 330 bridges without raising taxes on hard working Minnesotans.

Staying in Touch

Please visit and “like” my Facebook page for updates on all the important legislation and events that are taking place at the Capitol.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about issues that are important to you. My door is always open. If you would like to schedule a time to meet, please contact my office at or 651-296-6746.


Have a great weekend,


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