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,