Helpfully, HD43A Rep. Sarah Andrerson (R-Plymouth) provides her take on yesterday's first day of session. As Anderson notes at the end, the DFL is having their usual trouble deciding, as Bob Seeger would say, what to leave in, and what to leave out:
Today marked the start of the 2010 legislative session at the Minnesota Capitol. As your State Representative, I wanted to give you an idea what to expect in the coming months.
It's about JOBS!!!
As more Minnesotans are out of work, our state economy as a whole suffers. We are facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit. To dig out of this hole, we need to look at long-term solutions to improving our economy. Last week I met with area job providers to discuss the barriers to growing and retaining jobs in Minnesota. I have a laundry list of policy changes we can make that will help stimulate job growth. Government should not be the reason someone closes their doors and moves jobs out of this state.
Growing State Debt
Today, the state debt bill was unveiled. Chair Alice Hausman (D - St. Paul) is proposing we commit the state to $1.1 billion in debt. Though some of the projects in the bill are important for maintaining Minnesota's infrastructure, many of the proposals contained in the bill fail to meet the "project of statewide significance" standard or are fiscally prudent given the state's deficit of $1.2 billion. We will be spending state general fund dollars to support this debt bill at a time when other areas of the budget such as our schools are facing potential cuts.
Portions of the bill to watch include:
Gorilla housing - $11 million
Rochester Volleyball Center - $4 million
Snowmaking machine - $1.15 million
What's not in the bill:
Funding to house serious sex offenders
Funding for local road projects