The 2008 session started in February and we are two weeks from the end of session. The final weeks are always interesting, newsworthy and productive. It is in the final weeks of session that the major issues are resolved, the pressure of the calendar compelling resolution.
We have spent most of today's floor session working on HF 3149, the tax bill. In addition to addressing property taxes, the bill proposes increases in Local Government Aid, County Aid and Town Aid. It increases accountability for the JOBZ program and prohibits new businesses from entering JOBZ after June 2008. A provision I have carried for the past two year to fund Ramsey County's Environmental Response Fund (ERF) is in the tax bill. If signed into law, it will provide ongoing funding to clean up blighted land and property.
Much of the work of the last weeks happens in conference committee, as House and Senate provisions are reconciled. The balance of our time is spent on the floor, moving bills and conference reports. The budget negotiations are well underway. Much of the final week's progress hinges on the quality and outcome of the negotiations. In the balance hang Central Corridor, health care reform and a budget deal. The work is important.
Thanks for your continued contact and advocacy. Keep it up, mighty citizens. Your perspectives shape our work and the future for Minnesota.
Posted on Monday, May 5, 2008 by Erin Murphy,