Dear Mighty Citizens,
The 2008 legislative session begins on February 12th. It promises to be a fast-paced and challenging session. I wanted to share a brief preview, and also invite you to continue checking out my blog for weekly updates throughout the session.
A top priority for the legislative session will be to address Minnesota's struggling economy. Higher energy costs, mortgage foreclosures and job loss are a potent concoction and the resulting economic impact is affecting all of us. We can make both short and long-term investments that will create jobs, and strengthen Minnesota's economy for years to come.
Minnesota's unemployment rate is lagging behind national average for the first time in 30 years. We can create jobs right away through passage of a job-centered bonding bill that emphasizes projects that are ready-to-go. Our bonding bill will create 10,000 jobs, focusing on higher education facilities construction and preservation, transportation infrastructure, and clean water preservation.
We can better prepare the long-term economic health of our state through strong investment in education at every level. We can also invest in renewable energy and biosciences, establishing Minnesota as a regional center for these booming industries.
The tragic I-35W bridge collapse this summer shed light on the desperate need for a comprehensive transportation package to address our crumbling roads and bridges. I am optimistic, that with the Governor's support or not, we will pass a transportation package that can make our roads and bridges safer, alleviate traffic congestion, and bolster light-rail and mass transit. A transportation package would also create thousands of good paying construction jobs.
Reforming our broken health care system remains one my top legislative goals. Throughout the interim, I worked with the Health Care Access Committee, which held dozens of hearings and forums across the state to better enable us to make important reforms this year. Every person should have access to quality health care when they need it. I will work this year to make several reforms that can put us on the right track toward guaranteed, affordable health care for every Minnesotan and that will yield a healthier population.
Our legislative process works most effectively when we are informed and work together. On my end, I will keep you up to speed with what is going on at the Capitol with regular blog postings and e-updates throughout the session. On your end, I want to hear about your priorities and vision for our community and state. Send me an e-mail (rep.erin.Murphy@house.mn) with your comments and ideas.
I will hold three "coffee talks" in the upcoming weeks, a lunch with constituents at the Capitol and a town hall meeting with Rep. Paymar and Senator Cohen. Watch here for more information about dates and locations.
Together, we will move Minnesota forward with positive, progressive action in 2008. See you soon!
Rep. Erin Murphy
Posted on Friday, February 8, 2008 by Erin Murphy,