Here is a press release from Speaker Kelliher and Majority Leader Sertich on the February forecast.
February 28, 2007
House Leadership Responds to Budget Forecast
Education, Health Care and Property Tax Reductions Remain Strategic Focus
Saint Paul- Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis) and Majority Leader Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm) announced a strategic course of action for the remainder of the 2007 legislative session following the release of the state's February budget forecast.
"After two months of work, we have a genuine understanding of the unmet needs in the state. Our goal is to strategically invest in our education system, strive to make health care more affordable for our families, and lower the property tax commitments required on homeowners," Speaker Kelliher said.
The budget forecast for 2006-2007 showed a minimal decrease in state revenues of $25 million compared to the forecast from November. The legislature will base budget recommendations on these projections. Concerns remain regarding recent employment statistics.
"We campaigned and were elected because we clearly communicated our desire to fulfill the most basic mission of government. We pledge forward-thinking yet fiscally responsible proposals. We remain committed to achievable and measurable results that will better our state and the lives of our children, families, and elderly," Rep. Sertich said.
"The House has set an aggressive agenda and a workable time-line for the remainder of the session. We will now focus on a more progressive tax system that invests critical resources in key areas. Middle class citizens are paying more than their fair share and they know they aren't getting the return they deserve in our schools, access to health care, and transportation options," Speaker Kelliher said.
Minnesota ranks fourth worst in the nation in regards to the achievement gap between racially differing students. As of today, 68,000 children lack health insurance in this state including 11,000 under the age of five. Minnesota college tuition in Minnesota has increased 110% in the last ten years.
"We are not convinced the Governor's budget proposal does enough to advance early learning opportunities, make health care more affordable, and improve our transportation infrastructure. People are exhausted by empty rhetoric and the politics of distraction. People want a fiscal plan that is honest and straightforward," Rep. Sertich said.
The House of Representatives has already taken bipartisan action on tax credits for teachers and combat veterans and a nation-leading renewable energy standard.
Follow these links for more information: