Dear Mighty Citizens,
The 2010 legislative session is half over. We have been wrestling with the challenges of a weakened economy and larger state deficit. The first six weeks have been a whirlwind as we have worked to improve the lives of Minnesotans and make Minnesota better.
This session we have already:
• Helped put tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work
• Fixed 1/3 of Minnesota’s $1 billion budget shortfall
• Restored health care for 85,000 poor, sick Minnesotans
• Aided small businesses competing in a global economy
• Made Minnesota’s excellent election system even stronger
In particular, I want to mention our work on health care. After almost a year of intense work and collaboration, we successfully passed a bill to restore General Assistance Medical Care for Minnesotans in need. The solution is far from perfect, but it ensures that poor and sick Minnesotan can receive health care when they get sick. Maintaining this basic, moral objective was central to our work and I continue working to strengthen the compromise this session, taking advantage of the opportunities in the federal health package.
As we work to close our budget deficit, we will be closely monitoring the federal health care reform legislation and how it interacts with state law. By passing a law to conform to federal health care reform we can capture critical federal dollars to reduce the ranks of the uninsured and improve the quality and affordability of care we deliver in Minnesota.
Although we continue to face serious challenges, good news is on the horizon. Minnesota’s economy is getting stronger. In January, employers added 17,200 new jobs in our state - the highest one-month job gain since 2005. We’re working hard to keep that momentum going.
Working hard, we will move Minnesota closer to long-term economic recovery. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. If you would like to learn more about our legislative efforts, please visit my blog. I encourage you to share your point of view with me.
Jobs Bill Part I: Capital Investment (HF 2700)
The Minnesota House has passed a jobs-targeted bonding bill capable of putting nearly 20,000 Minnesotans back to work. The bill makes strategic investments in high-priority, shovel-ready infrastructure improvements.
Jobs Bill Part II: Tax Reform (HF 2695)
Continuing our focus on the economy and job creation, we passed common sense tax reforms that will create thousands of new jobs in bioscience, manufacturing, construction, and the emerging clean energy economy.
General Assistance Medical Care (HF 2680)
Working together, we passed a solution that restores basic health care for 85,000 of Minnesota’s poorest, sickest people, and prevents 20,000 working adults from losing MinnesotaCare coverage.
Bipartisan Small Business Agenda
The bipartisan Small Business Caucus is taking action to make Minnesota a better place to do business. Eight bills backed by the Caucus would free up needed capital, cut red tape, and better-connect small businesses with existing state resources. Many of these reforms come directly from the ideas of Minnesota small business owners who responded to our small business survey.
Strategic Budget Cuts (HF 1671)
The Minnesota House resolved 1/3 of the state’s $1 billion budget shortfall. Many of these cuts are difficult, but we have cut less than half of the Governor’s proposed local government cuts which will preserve jobs and limit property tax increases. Going forward, we need a balanced strategy to budget for the things Minnesotans value: quality education, health care and a 21st Century transportation system.
Common Sense Election Reforms (HF 3108)
Acting on lessons learned during the 2008 U.S. Senate election recount, lawmakers passed bipartisan election reforms to make our voting system the most reliable and efficient in the nation - while helping Minnesotans cast their ballots more easily.
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2010 by Erin Murphy,