Although this year's caucuses did not set attendance records, the lively national Republican race did put Minnesota in the media spotlight again this year. I want to thank everyone who attended. Your participation is what makes our political process responsible to its citizens. Thank you!
LIMITING GOVERNMENT RULEMAKING TO ENCOURAGE JOBS
Last week, we passed a bill though committee that would create a board to review government rules to determine the rule's impact on small businesses and also to recommend changes to laws in order to make them less burdensome for job creation. The Senate Jobs and Economic Growth committee also approved a bill that would stop executive branch rule making for two years in order to ease regulatory burdens on businesses. This bill sends a message to our job creators that we are serious about making our state the best place to do business.
REFORM & REDESIGN SUBCOMMITTEE BEGINS
On Friday, the new Subcommittee on Reform & Redesign had their first meeting and heard an update on consolidation of information technology systems and services. The bipartisan committee will review existing policies and enable legislation that makes government operations more effective and efficient while serving Minnesota citizens in the digital age.
CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE FUND PROTECTION
In December 2011, a temporary restraining order was issued by the Ramsey County Court blocking a vote unionizing child day care, authorized by Governor Dayton's earlier executive order. Although the matter is not completely settled and the summary judgment is now scheduled for February 22, one legislative option has been introduced in the House and Senate that will prevent unions from taking taxpayer dollars intended for the care of children, whether as union dues or "fair share" fees. The measure had a successful hearing in the House.
On Wednesday evening, February 15, a Joint Convention of the House and Senate will receive Governor Mark Dayton's State of the State address. Fortunately, the "state of the state" is much more healthy this year, something that we can all embrace. Citizens will need to look at the results of the past year and see that a lot went into our move from a $5.2 billion dollar shortfall a year ago to an $876 million surplus today. This change occurred because of our tough choices on spending, prioritizing needs, providing regulatory reform and allowing businesses the freedom to grow, rather than new taxes to support higher spending. Governor Dayton is expected to speak on his goals for this session: passage of a $775 bonding bill and a stadium bill, both of which are tied to his jobs agenda.
Thanks for taking the time to read my update and please feel free to contact me with your questions and comments.