Announcement From Representative Denny McNamara

By Rep. Denny McNamara, Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello friends,

As I prepare to head back to Capitol today I am cautiously optimistic we can find a route to a budget solution in the next 36 hours. Attached is an article I sent to the Hastings Star Gazette for Thursday’s paper.

AVOIDING A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

As I write this, I still have some hope that the Legislature and Governor Dayton will be able to reconcile their budget differences and that a state government shutdown can be avoided.

Resolving the budget has been a real challenge when we have a Governor on one side who believes he was elected on a mandate of tax increases, and legislators on the other side who believe they were elected to show that government should live with only the money it currently will bring in.

To say I am disappointed would be an understatement, as I worked very hard to avoid this situation. At $34 billion, the Legislature approved the biggest balanced budget ever in Minnesota’s history before the end of session, but Governor Dayton vetoed it because he wanted even more government spending.

Since session ended, the Legislature has made two attempts to find common ground with the Governor. In fact, our last offer removed the Legislature’s tax relief priority and offered to allocate that $200 million to several programs such as K-12 education, higher education, environment, transportation and public safety.

Negotiations have continued over the last few days and now the legislature and Governor Dayton are VERY close on resolutions for most of the budget areas. Governor Dayton should call us back into session immediately. We can reach final agreement and pass these bills. Then our Hastings bridge construction will continue, the Afton State Park & the Minnesota Zoo will stay open and summer school at Inver Hills & Dakota County Community colleges will also continue. Then we’ll all need to roll up our sleeves and get the rest of the job done.

It’s my hope that by the time you’re reading this, common sense will have prevailed, and that Governor Dayton and the Legislature will have made a compromise and we will have avoided a government shutdown. It will be tough as both sides feel very strongly about their position, but I’m optimistic that it can be done.

If you would like to discuss this or any issue further feel free to call my home phone number at 651-437-2597, or my office at 651-296-3135, or send me an email at rep.denny.mcnamara@house.mn.

Keep in touch,

Denny

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