Welcome back to another full and meaningful year. I am excited to begin the new 2015 legislative session and am honor and privileged to continue representing the citizens of Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stearns, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin Counties.
The Minnesota Legislature reconvened in St. Paul on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, to begin the 2015 legislative session. This year saw a change in the power structure with the House of Representatives being controlled again by the Republicans. Governor Dayton won his re-election and the Senate remained the same, as they were not up for election last fall. This year will likely see more bold reforms and innovative policies. Hot agenda items likely to be addressed this session will be budget agreement, transportation funding, and tax reforms to provide some relief to hardworking taxpayers.
Tax reform and relief has long been a goal of Republicans. With the past two years of tax increases, Minnesota families deserve some relief. A good starting point would be to conform to the federal tax code and give tax relief in the same areas the IRS allows families to deduct or exempt.
Other issues that will require attention include funding and the way we manage our schools and our health care system. Also, finding ways to improve efficiency to stretch our transportation dollars. Stop the pursuit of more and more light rail trains in the metro area that are very expensive methods of public transit. The focus needs to be on investing in our roads and bridges.
I look forward to continue serving as a member on the Finance committee, the Transportation and Public Safety Committee and the Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division Committee.
As always, I welcome constituents to come visit me or call me toll free at my St. Paul office at (855) 407-7386 or (651)-296-3826, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155.
Finally, the Minnesota State Capitol is currently undergoing a $270 million historic renovation project that has two-thirds of the building blocked off. Sadly, the Capitol is closed to weekday school and group tours this session. We still welcome visitors, but those who come should be prepared to maneuver all the construction zones and to witness the historic renovation that is going on.
Minnesota State Senator
Senate District 12