I’ve worked hard to get Minnesota’s spending in line

Representative Denny McNamara (R) District 57B

Representative Denny McNamara (R) District 57B

By Rep. Denny McNamara, 5/13/2012

Hello from St. Paul,

It has been an honor serving as your state representative for the past five terms. Being a landscape contractor and small business owner, I chose to run for office in order to bring some fiscal sanity and common sense to St. Paul.

As an employer who was always trying to live within a budget, I found it amazing that state government rarely, if ever, chose to live within its means. Each year, projected government spending would increase without restraint, and because of this, Minnesota has been forced to overcome countless budget deficits.

In November 2010, Minnesotans had seen enough. For the first time in decades, they sent a Republican-controlled Legislature to St. Paul and told them to fix the spending problem without raising taxes and find ways to put people to work.

Facing a $5.1 billion deficit, we were forced to reform many programs and make many tough choices in order to balance our budget. We reduced future state spending by $5 billion. We removed barriers that make it easier for job providers to expand their businesses. But most importantly, we told our Main Street business owners we would not raise their taxes in order to eliminate the deficit.

The results were staggering: A $6 billion economic turnaround, with that mammoth deficit becoming a $1.3 billion surplus. State unemployment rates fell from 7.5 percent to 5.7 percent – some of the best in the nation. Nearly 42,000 Minnesotans have found work since January, 2011.

Nearly two years later, we are leaving St. Paul with our state in a much better condition economically than when we inherited it.

We also leave St. Paul with more than 200 bills signed into law, proving that a Republican-led legislature and a Democrat governor can work together to get things done.

As chair of the Minnesota House Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee, I worked on several of these new laws where lawmakers came together in bipartisan fashion to do what is right for this state.

Some of these provisions include: Shift management of more than 2.5 million acres of school trust lands to funnel more money to public schools; directing more money to battle aquatic invasive species such as Asian carp; improving the permitting process which often hinders job creators from expanding their businesses; keeping the state’s game and fish fund solvent; and allowing developers to have more flexibility to build near wetlands.

We also put people to work, not only by creating a more job friendly environment in Minnesota, but also by passing smaller bonding bills in both 2011 and 2012, which are significantly focused on infrastructure-heavy construction projects across that state.

Finally, the Legislature solved an issue that, to some, was more important than any other legislative topic. On a bipartisan basis, lawmakers approved a plan that will help build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Taxpayers are protected under this deal, as if you never play electronic pulltabs, you’ll never pay one penny towards stadium construction.

As your representative, I’ve worked hard to get Minnesota’s spending in line, while working with members of all parties to find solutions to our state’s most pressing needs. Over the past two years, we’ve been meeting these goals.

My priorities will always be prioritized state spending, forcing government to live within its means, protecting our state’s most vulnerable residents, ensuring our schools have equitable funding, and creating a more job-friendly state that encourages employers to expand their businesses and their workforce.

But what are your priorities? Over the years, my goal has been to meet with as many of my constituents as possible, and for the next several months I will be walking through your neighborhoods and knocking on your doors to hear firsthand how you want state government to change. It is a privilege to fight for your interests in St. Paul, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Keep in touch,

Representative Denny McNamara, House District 57B
Chair of the Committee on Environment, Energy
and Natural Resources Policy and Finance
375 State Office Building
100 Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, Mn. 55155-1298
Phone (651) 296-3135

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