It’s been a busy couple weeks in St.Paul. As you probably know, Governor Dayton released his budget proposal for the 2014-2015 fiscal years. The proposal calls for $37.9 billion in state spending, which is a 7.6% increase in spending from the previous budget. The governor also wants $3.7 billion in tax increases – that 11.9% increase would be the largest ever proposed by a Minnesota governor.
I believe this budget is wrong for our families and wrong for our state. Much has been done to promote the Albertville outlet mall to out-of-state shoppers, who come to Minnesota because of the tax-free clothing. I am very concerned that this tax will have a negative impact on our local economy. I will continue to update you with information about the budget as it moves through the Legislature.
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve authored my first bill in the House. The bill would prohibit the adoption of mandatory sprinkler codes in newly constructed homes by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Sprinkler systems add a significant cost to building a house and will harm our home construction industry, which is just now beginning to recover. I decided to author this legislation after two constituents, Andy Kuntz of Albertville and Brian Thompson of Hanover, met with me during Homebuilder's Day at the Capitol to discuss the issue.
I have also signed onto two education bills. One will correct some of the funding inequality that has districts like STMA, Buffalo-Hanover, and Elk River receiving only a fraction of what some districts, such as Minneapolis, receive from the state. Another bill will prevent the legislature from continuing the practice of delaying more than 10% of state aid payments that result in difficulty for school districts to plan their budgets long term.
Last week, I had the privilege to meet with St. Michael resident, Allen Lund, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota. I’m very grateful for the work Allen and his organization do for our community. I also attended the Otsego City Council meeting to give an update on what’s going on at the legislature. Mayor Stockamp, along with the rest of the city council and staff, really do a great job for the city. I appreciated the opportunity to speak before them.
Finally, it was a great pleasure to present the STMA 9th grade wresting team with a Resolution of the House recognizing their second place team finish at the state tournament.
As your voice in St. Paul, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.David.Fitzsimmons@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-1534. You can also send me mail to my office address: 227 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family, friends, and neighbors so they can sign up and stay in touch.