Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 25, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

We are in the middle of a special legislative session to finish up the state budget which began at 12:01 a.m. Monday night. Work was supposed to be finished by 7 a.m. yesterday, but some major legislation took a long time to be drafted. In fact, the proposed Health and Human Services bill was only finished this afternoon. This special session follows the Monday midnight deadline by when the regular legislative session was constitutionally required to end.

While we’re considering budget bills to fund important investments in our schools, health care, transportation and other values we all have a responsibility to take care of, some troubling measures are moving forward as well. Some of these are quite detrimental to working families. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 19, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Monday at midnight is the deadline for the Legislature to adjourn for the year, and a great deal of work remains before us. Other than funding for state agriculture programs, legislative leaders in the House and Senate majorities and Gov. Mark Dayton have yet to agree on a two-year state budget.

In an effort to end the impasse, Wednesday night Gov. Dayton put forth what could have been the linchpin to bring the session to conclusion: an offer to meet the legislative leaders half way. After including critical funding for our courts system and needed investments in cybersecurity protection, the Governor proposed that the surplus would be split right in half. The Governor would target his half toward values such as education, health care, and public safety, while GOP legislative leaders would be able to target their half toward tax cuts and road funding, their top two priorities. For Gov. Dayton, this represents a significant compromise, moving more than $1.5 billion away from his initial budget proposal. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 11, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well, and you are able to take advantage of this wonderful weather with your friends and family. Here at the State Capitol, the pace is picking up as we head toward adjournment on May 22, and I wanted to give you an update.

Negotiations on an agreement for a two-year state budget between Gov. Dayton and the House and Senate majorities appeared to be on track earlier this week. In a spirit of compromise, the Governor had issued a series of proposals trying to move more toward the middle. Unfortunately, rather than returning a compromise offer of their own, the legislative majority chose to move ahead with votes on their own, very partisan budget bills. It is extremely disappointing that rather than doing the hard work to find common ground, they chose to walk away from the table. (more…)

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Sen. Jerry Newton Update: May 5, 2017

Budget Negotiations Tense From the Start
With just over two weeks left to negotiate a more than $40 billion budget for the next two years, there is a wide gulf between House and Senate Republicans and DFLers. Caucus leaders from both parties met behind closed doors with Governor Dayton this week to outline a framework to begin budget negotiations.

Before numbers can be agreed to, Governor Dayton has made it clear Republicans must remove the more than 600 policy provisions currently in the budget bills. These provisions run the gamut from halting any future light rail projects to limiting the department of agriculture from governing the use of harmful pesticides to eliminating 40-years’ worth of campaign finance reforms. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 3, 2017

 

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors:

At this late stage of the legislative session, we should be nearing a state budget compromise between Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Dayton and wrapping up work in a productive manner, on time, and in a way that benefits Minnesotans. Unfortunately, the Republicans – who are in the majority of the House and Senate – have stuck to a set of priorities that put the wants of the richest Minnesotans ahead of the needs of our communities. (more…)

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Sen. Jerry Newton Update: April 28, 2017

Cuts to Veterans and Military Unacceptable 

Disagreement at the state legislature is expected. Republicans and DFLers have a lot we don’t agree on – and that’s no secret. But usually, there are at least a few small areas in which we typically see eye to eye. Taking care of our veterans and active military personnel is one of them.

In fact, just a few weeks ago I was part of a group of bipartisan legislators raising awareness about a new tax benefit available to veterans. And last year I was proud of my work with Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) to help end homelessness among Minnesota Veterans with the Cottages of Anoka project. We were able to secure a $100,000 appropriation for the Cottages in last year’s supplemental budget. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: April 27, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I want to thank everyone who took time out of their weekend to join Sen. Newton and me at our Coffee and Conversation this past Sunday. It was great to hear what’s on the minds of constituents and answer questions about what’s happening at the Legislature.

At the Capitol, Conference Committees are deliberating differences between House and Senate versions of the major budget bills including education, health and human services, public safety and others. Once these agreements are made, Governor Dayton, who released his own proposed budget earlier this session, will be able to weigh in. If you would like to learn which members are serving on the conference committees and follow their progress, click here. (more…)

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Sen. Jerry Newton Update: April 21, 2017

 

Preemption Bill is a Bad Deal for Minnesotans

A bill that strips power away from local governments passed the Senate on Thursday by a thin party-line vote.

I am strongly opposed to this legislation because it takes away local control from our communities and strikes down worker protections and benefits for 150,000 hardworking Minnesotans. The preemption measure bans local employment regulations on minimum wage, unpaid leave and scheduling requirements. The state legislature’s job is to set minimum standards, not maximum standards. We should not be restricting the authority of local governments to implement what is best for their communities. This bill strips away local decision making power and will hurt working families. (more…)

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Sen. Jerry Newton Update: April 19, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

After last week’s recess to observe the Easter and Passover holidays, the Legislature is back in St. Paul for the final five weeks of Session.  Conference Committees have been appointed to compare the differences between the Senate and House versions of budget bills. It is my hope that reasonable budget proposals that work for all Minnesotans will be brought forward for a vote before the April 28th deadline.

As we move forward with our work, Representative Erin Koegel and I want to give community members an opportunity to share their viewpoints and ask any questions about what’s happening at the Capitol. You’re invited to attend a Coffee and Conversation meeting this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Sticks and Stones Restaurant located at the Fogerty Arena in Blaine. Everyone is welcome, and I hope you can attend. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: April 18, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

After a weeklong recess to observe the Easter and Passover holidays, we are back in St. Paul for the final five weeks of the legislative session. House/Senate conference committees have been appointed to consider the differences between each chamber’s versions of the major budget bills. Hopefully, the negotiations surrounding these decisions can be open to the public with a great deal of citizen input, and when finished, the end results will improve opportunities for all Minnesotans. There is much work in front of us to increase access to quality education, fix our transportation system, and attract good paying jobs to our region.

As we move forward with this work, Sen. Jerry Newton and I want to give community members an opportunity to share their viewpoints and ask any questions about what’s happening at the Capitol. You’re invited to attend a Coffee and Conversation meeting this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Sticks and Stones Restaurant located at the Fogerty Arena in Blaine. Everyone is welcome, and I hope you can attend. (more…)

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