Over the next month or so, legislative committees will review the Governor’s budget proposal. We will review the proposal in district at citizen meetings. Joint Committees will hold town hall style meetings across Minnesota. Given the challenge we are facing, it is important that Minnesotans have a good measure of what is being proposed and what it means for our families, neighbors, businesses and the economy. You can learn more about the proposal by going to www.mmb.state.mn.us.
I am carefully reviewing the budget. It is easy to rush to judgment and there are certainly proposals that are of great concern, from my point of view. But it is important to take a full measure of the proposal. I hope that you will share your reactions with me. To those who are already making contact, I thank you.
Finally, as the Obama Administration and Congress debate and finalize the federal recovery legislation, I will share details with you. Last fall I worked to organize and hold an initial meeting of Minnesota’s State and Federal Health Care Caucus. We met at the end of the year to discuss health care funding and reform measures. That early work will help us to work effectively with our federal partners to shape the recovery initiative.
You know how to reach me. Thank you for your advice and hard work.
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 by Erin Murphy,
In 2007, the Legislature commissioned a study on Minnesota’s budget trends. Since the start of this decade, Minnesota’s budget has been on a bit of a roller coaster. Under the guidance and leadership of Rep. Ann Lenczewski and Sen. Dick Cohen, Minnesota sought an explanation for this.
A panel of 15, appointed by the House, Senate and Governor, produced a set of findings and recommendations for action. The Budget Trends Study Commission Report was released yesterday and you can read it here http://www.mmb.state.mn.us/doc/budget/trends/report-09.pdf.
Commission Co-Chairs former Commissioners Jay Kiedrowski and Kevin Goodno presented the report to joint hearing of the House Tax and Finance Committees. The findings and recommendations are sobering. They also provide guidance for our shared future. I hope you have a chance to read the summary. And I hope you will share your reactions and feedback with me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 by Erin Murphy,
On January 6, 2009 at noon, the members of the Minnesota House of Representatives took the oath of office and we organized ourselves for the 2009 Legislative Session. I joined Secretary of State Mark Ritche at the desk where I served as Clerk Pro Tem. That means I called the roll, established the quorum, called the vote for Speaker (Margaret Anderson Kelliher) and called the vote for Chief Clerk (Mathowitz). It is a feat of concentration and I am grateful to the Chief Clerk for his skillful execution of House floor sessions.
Committee assignments and the schedule are set. I will serve on the following committees:
• Health and Human Services Policy and Oversight
• Health and Human Services Finance
I have a new Legislative Assistant and his name is Will Hailer. He comes to the House with a lot of previous administrative experience and he is doing an excellent job. Please greet him when you visit. My office remains in the same spot, 413 SOB. I hope you will visit, write, call or email to share your perspectives and ideas regarding the work ahead.
We have a big job ahead as we balance the budget. I know that there is plenty of coverage of the budget in the news. On January 27, the Governor will release his budget. I am planning meetings within the district to share details of the current forecast and the Governor’s budget proposal. I think it is important for us to have a shared understanding of Minnesota’s revenue outlook and the impact of the recession and job loss as well as the Governor’s proposed solutions.
At the end of February we will get the next forecast and with that, the legislature will begin to assemble the budget in earnest. You can share your budget balancing ideas through a link on the House webpage: www.house.leg.state.mn.us. I have faith in our capacity to bring Minnesota and all of us through this recession, well positioned for the recovery. That is the work ahead.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve and the honor to represent the mighty 64A in the State House.
Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009 by Erin Murphy,