Sen. Jerry Newton Update: June 12, 2017

STORM DAMAGE UPDATE

I hope everyone stayed safe in the storm this weekend.  I know that some people experienced damage to their homes, property or automobiles from high winds and hail.  The Department of Labor and Industry sent out a Press Release today reminding people to be careful when hiring a contractor to fix storm damage.  You can find the release here.

The cities of Blaine and Coon Rapids also have some good information on their websites about cleanup and hiring contractors. You can follow these links for information about Blaine or Coon Rapids. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: June 12, 2017, Storm Damage Tips

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

We continue to see and feel the impact of this weekend’s powerful storms in our community. Homes have gone without power, trees have been toppled, and property has been severely damaged due to the wind, hail, and rain. I suspect the images of enormous amounts of hail accumulating on our streets will remain memorable for quite some time.

Now, many are moving forward with assessments of the damage and looking ahead to repairs. In order to minimize the headaches this event has presented, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has some helpful tips for those affected by the storm: (more…)

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Sen. Jerry Newton Update: June 1, 2017

Friends and Neighbors,

As you may have seen in the media, it has been a busy couple of weeks in St. Paul.  All major budget bills passed the House and Senate in the last week of session.  A 3-day special session was necessary for this to happen, however.

Governor Dayton has signed all the budget bills into law.  In some last-minute scuffling, he line-item vetoed all funding for the Legislature. He was angry that Republicans placed an unseen provision in the State Government bill which forced him to sign the Tax bill. A link to the Governor’s letter explaining his line item veto is here.  I am hopeful this will all be settled in the next few weeks.  Although, there may be another short special session to get everything resolved. (more…)

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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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