The Senate District 57 Republicans will be hosting a "Meet The Candidates" event in a "speed dating" format so you can get to know the next Governor of Minnesota! You and a few other fellow Republicans will sit at each table and each candidate will move from table to table getting to know you and answering your questions in a small group setting.
We tried this for the first time four years ago and it was a great success. Both attendees and the candidates liked being able to converse and ask questions in such a small group setting. So we're trying it again this year!
It will be held on January 11th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, with doors opening at 6:00 PM. It will be held at:
Admission costs $20, which also gets you Pizza and pop. Alternately, attendees can make a $50 donation through the (Political Contribution Refund) PCR program, which allows you to make a donation to a political party which will then be refunded by the state.
Due to space limitations only the first 100 attendees will be admitted. To reserve your spot, please RSVP!
Today the legislature voted to provide $4.5 million dollars in disaster relief funding for 18 counties across the state of Minnesota during a one-day special session. It was great to see my colleagues and for all of us to come together in a bipartisan fashion to support much-needed relief for the areas impacted by the severe storms in June 2013 that caused widespread damage across Minnesota.
The House voted 127-1, with all Republicans voting in support of the measure. The Senate passed the bill unanimously 59-0. The Governor is expected to sign the bill in the coming days. While I was disappointed that we missed an opportunity to fix the tax mistakes impacting Minnesota businesses and families, I look forward to making that a priority when the legislature reconvenes in 2014.
Here are some additional updates from the past couple of weeks:
As many of you know, yesterday was Night to Unite (formerly National Night Out), a night where communities around Minnesota and across the country gather to greet their neighbors for block parties. The event is used primarily to strengthen neighborhood relationships, and encourage drug and crime prevention awareness.
Strong relationships in our neighborhoods and communities are one of the best tools against crime. Many law enforcement organizations participate in Night to Unite as a way to promote tips on how to make your neighborhood safer.
Thanks to everyone in Rosemount and Apple Valley for the kind reception -- I had hoped to make it to more gatherings, but the severe weather cut the evening's festivities short.
I also met with Dakota County Regional Chamber President Vicki Stute on Monday. Much of our conversation was on the new warehousing tax that was passed last session, and how it's already costing Minnesota jobs and growth opportunities for existing companies. We agreed that we need to be taking steps to make Minnesota's business climate more attractive so we can create jobs, rather than encouraging them to go elsewhere.
Apple Valley, Rosemount, Coates unlikely to see property tax relief
I've received a number of questions this summer about property taxes. There has been a lot of talk this summer about property taxes, and with it comes some confusion about what it would mean for our area. Despite claims that property taxes are going down, it's unlikely that homeowners in Apple Valley, Rosemount, and Coates are going to see any relief on their property tax statements.
The DFL majority is claiming that increasing government aid to local cities and counties qualifies as property tax relief. In a sense, they are right. Many communities around Minnesota receive local government aid (LGA), and could use those increased payments to lower their overall levy.
Unfortunately, our communities do not receive LGA. That means that there's no new government money coming in that would allow the cities of Apple Valley, Rosemount, and Coates to lower their property tax levies.
In fact, it was decided at Monday night's school board meeting that the Apple Valley-Eagan-Rosemount school district will be asking taxpayers for $10 million dollars per year -- which works out to about $184 dollars for the owner of a $225,000 home, the average for the school district.
Have a great rest of your week,
State Representative, District 57B
I wanted to share with you some updates from this past week, and a look at the week ahead.
Monday evening marked the end of the 2013 Legislative Session. The final weekend of session was marked by many late nights which were necessary to pass the bills that now have either been signed or are still awaiting the Governor's signature for the 2014-2015 biennium budget.
Next week I plan to send out a session wrap-up detailing our work this session here at the legislature. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the last weekend:
Greetings from the Capitol!
We are in the home stretch of the 2013 session and bills to set a new state budget for the next two years remain works in progress.
May 20 is the scheduled date of adjournment. Since the majority has yet to unveil a finished budget, we will be working through the weekend. It will be a daunting task to get a budget in place before the deadline. It concerns me these important bills will be rushed to passage with a lack of transparency if the majorities are unable to bring them to our respective floors soon.
Greetings from the Capitol!
We are wrapping up business at the Capitol and heading into the final week. The 2013 session is scheduled to end May 20, but the House and Senate majorities have yet to produce a final budget.
Democratic leadership in the Minnesota House and Senate met with Governor Dayton this week in hopes of breaking the state budget log-jam. Both legislative bodies have approved budget bills that will dramatically increase state spending and taxes over the next two years, but have been unable to agree on a final budget target number.
In the meantime, we continue to work on a variety of policy bills including ones dealing with energy and our local schools.
We have just ten days remaining here at the legislature to complete our work for the 2013 session. We are constitutionally required to adjourn on May 20th. If we don't complete our work and pass a budget by May 20th, we would be forced to go to special session.
We still have yet to see any of the final budget bills, or even the budget target agreements from the Governor and leaders in the House and Senate.
I will do my best to keep you informed on the final budget bills -- with one week left this Monday, it's sure to be an action-packed final week here in Saint Paul!
Greetings from the Capitol!
House-Senate conference committees are now in the process of putting budget bills into finished form so they can receive consideration for final passage. Our focus on the House floor has shifted to policy measures as we wait for the return of those finance bills.