Rep. Paul Rosenthal Update: May 20, 2017

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (49B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I wanted to take a moment to give a brief update from the Capitol. Only two days remain in the 2017 legislative session and a budget solution seems elusive. Republican legislative leaders decided to move forward with their own budget bills, abandoning compromise with the Governor after he made a half way offer to the Legislature.  The Legislative Majority and Governor continue their work through the weekend; I hope an honest and fair budget can be accomplished for the good of our state and all Minnesotans.  I’ve been working with my colleagues who serve on conference committees to share my concerns about the budget.  Compromise is key and I’ll continue to advocate for it at the Capitol. (more…)

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Sen. Steve Cwodzinski Update: May 19, 2017

Week of May 14 – 20th

Insistence on Policy in Budget Threatens a Shutdown

Governor Dayton vetoed five budget bills this past week, again due to issues of policy being included in them. Later in the week, he offered new budgets targets to GOP leaders that were halfway between their original starting points. Then, late Friday, GOP leaders announced that they too would agree to halfway point budget targets, which I am thankful to hear.

 

However, I am incredibly disheartened by the fact that that they also announced a refusal to remove policy from their budget bills. With the legislative session nearing its end, the time has come to find what we agree on and get those things done. If one party does not like a policy provision, we should come back next year and find a compromise. The hour is getting late, and this last minute deal-making is how unintended consequences find their way into state law. (more…)

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Rep. Paul Rosenthal Update: May 16, 2017

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (49B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

A week remains for the Legislature and the Governor to come together on the two year budget. Budget negotiations between Governor Dayton and the legislative majority leadership had been moving forward until late Monday night last week. The GOP legislative leaders then abruptly ended negotiations and finalized their bills, despite a guarantee of vetoes in their current versions from the Governor. These bills were regrettably passed with neither public hearings nor advanced notice. With no surprise, all ten of the budget bills were vetoed:  transportation finance bill; public safety and judiciary finance bill; jobs and energy finance bill; higher education finance bill; tax bill; agriculture finance bill; environment and natural resources finance bill; E-12 education finance bill; state government, military and veterans affairs finance bill; health and human services finance bill. (more…)

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Anselmo’s vote would guarantee gridlock

To the Editor:

Perhaps State Rep. Dario Anselmo has a great car that never breaks down. Or perhaps he has friends who can give him a ride at a moment’s notice. Or perhaps he has the magical ability to teleport himself to wherever he wants to go. Whatever his reasons, how fortunate for Anselmo that he never has to worry about how he will get around!

It might explain why he voted on March 31 to slash Metro Transit regular route bus service by a whopping 40 percent (House File 861). This would literally cripple mass transit in the metro area, dealing a devastating blow to people who rely on buses for jobs, medical appointments and regular daily routines. (more…)

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Sen. Melisa Franzen Update: May 12, 2017

A weekly message from your Senator

Dear Constituents and Friends,

We are closer to the last day of session on May 22nd. This week the Senate passed several conference committee reports:

H.F. 895/S.F. 780 Omnibus agriculture and housing appropriations bill
H.F. 888/S.F. 723 Omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill
H.F. 890/S.F. 718 Omnibus education finance bill
H.F. 691/S.F. 605 Omnibus state government appropriations bill; omnibus veterans and military affairs appropriations bill
H.F. 945/S.F. 800 Omnibus health human services bill

Below are the veto messages on why each of them were vetoed. (more…)

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Rep. Paul Rosenthal Update: May 5, 2017

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (49B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

As we approach the session deadline of May 22, several budget bills remain unresolved.  Governor Dayton has been actively engaged with Speaker Daudt and Majority Leader Gazelka, specifying parameters for his budget preferences and detailing items that are not acceptable. In a letter sent to the press on Tuesday, all correspondence between the governor’s staff and legislators was listed. House Democrats are working toward a compromise budget in the next two weeks, but will not stand for policies that move the state backward and hurt Minnesotans. (more…)

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Sen. Melisa Franzen Update: May 5, 2017

A weekly message from your Senator

Dear Constituents and Friends,

We are short of two weeks remaining in the 2017 legislative session and time for reaching compromise on a state budget for the biennium is running out. Below I outline the latest on taxes, education, the environment, and healthcare. I am hopeful we will reach agreement on a sensible tax bill that balances relief to Minnesotans and business owners. I am also optimistic on funding for education and healthcare priorities. I look forward to finishing our work on time by the adjournment date of May 22nd. (more…)

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Sen. Melisa Franzen Update: April 28, 2017

A weekly message from your Senator

Dear Constituents and Friends,

With just three weeks left in the 2017 Session, Senate and House Republicans released budget numbers on April 28 that move more than $200 million further away from Governor Dayton’s budget. Instead of using the current budget forecast, they use budget numbers from last year and argue their numbers are budget increases. This type of accounting does not add up and is a step backwards in reaching an honest conclusion to the legislative session.

These budget targets and tax cut spending proposals are extremely disappointing. This budget takes us dangerously close to bringing the state back into decades of budget deficits. In light of the $1.6 billion surplus (less if you count inflation), the proposed cuts to many state budgets will affect the ability to care for vulnerable Minnesotans and supporting our schools. (more…)

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Sen. Melisa Franzen Update: April 21, 2017

A weekly message from your Senator

Dear Constituents and Friends,

We are five weeks away from adjourning from the 2017 Legislative Session. Conference committee members have been appointed and we are now waiting for them to meet and find compromise in the differences between the House and the Senate on bills and the budget for the state. State commissioners are involved in the budget negotiations with the conference committees this week. I fully support Governor Dayton’s request that the House and Senate set joint conference committee targets no later than Friday, April 28. That gives conferees two weeks after the Legislature returned from the Easter/Passover break and leaves more than three weeks to negotiate the details of the omnibus budgets before the May 22 adjournment date. (more…)

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Rep. Paul Rosenthal Update: April 21, 2017

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (49B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

The Easter/Passover Recess has concluded and we returned to our legislative work this week. The House and Senate majorities have passed their omnibus budget bills out of both chambers and conference committees have started meeting to sort out the differences between each body’s bills.  Although both chambers are GOP-controlled, several of the final House and Senate omnibus bills have fairly significant policy and finance differences.  One example is the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill.  The House version, which passed on the Friday before break, contains a $600 million cut and would eliminate MNSure.  The Senate’s cut is half of the House’s and keeps MNSure.  These differences are parallel to the current leadership styles in the Minnesota Legislature; you can read about these here. (more…)

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