ST. PAUL, Minn. – For the third year in a row, the Minnesota state Senate has finished its work on time and under budget, passing all of its budget bills by the constitutionally-mandated deadline of midnight, May 18.
“In most cases, this legislature was able to set aside party differences and work toward compromise that’s in the best interest of Minnesotans across the state,” said Sen Schmit. “Among session highlights, we continued our responsible stewardship of the state budget, targeted needed resources to our rural schools and nursing homes, and began an overdue conversation about Minnesota’s aging transportation infrastructure.”
The legislature adjourned until March 8, 2016 – but with Governor Dayton’s veto of the E-12 education finance bill, there likely will be a brief one-day special session in the coming weeks.
“I commend the Governor for drawing renewed attention to the importance of early childhood education. Although my primary priorities lie in providing our schools with additional flexibility through much-needed basic formula funding and resources for facilities maintenance, I look forward to an improved education finance bill that meets the needs of our schools and helps advance the Governor’s vision for our youngest learners,” Schmit added. “After all, it makes little sense for the state to sit on a significant budget surplus when our schools are considering significant budget cuts or local property tax increases.”
Although the legislative session did not produce a comprehensive transportation funding package, the budget agreement sets the table for a productive 2016 session. “With an additional $1 billion on next year’s bottom line, this legislature will have a great opportunity for bipartisan agreement on comprehensive transportation funding and targeted tax relief,” said Schmit. “We’re in a very strong position to build on our recent state budget stability while strengthening our rural communities, schools, and economies alike.”
For more information, Sen. Schmit can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 296-4264.