Minnesotans can be proud of what the legislature accomplished in the 2013 and 2014 legislatives sessions. From raising the minimum wage (indexed for inflation) to marriage equality, we accomplished more than in any other two years in my memory.
We made real progress for working Minnesotans and middle class families: we paid back the money borrowed from our schools; we invested more in education including free all-day kindergarten for every child; we froze tuition at all public Minnesota colleges and universities; and we produced an honest budget that got rid of gimmicks. “The Issues” section explains more.
Since the last election the Minnesota House has been controlled by a Republican majority that is focusing on rural Minnesota. Speaker Daudt changed the committee structure to reflect this emphasis. The 2015 session ended with vetos by Governor Dayton and a special session.
This year’s legislative session convenes on March 8. The challenges are deeper and more complex than usual. We are overdue for a long-term balanced package for transit, road, and bridges. But the Republicans prefer short-term road funding from the general fund, our funding source for education and health. We have ample dollars to fund the Governor’s capital investment package but the Republicans want to cut it in half. With our robust surplus we should expand the preschool funding for 4 year olds as the Governor requested. But that is not a given. Last session we funded just over a quarter of those who would qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Please call or email with questions or concerns.