Update for April 25th

By Rep. Denny McNamara, (R), HD57B, April 25, 2011

Hello from St. Paul,

I want to thank everyone who responded to my 2011 legislative survey. Your input helps me serve as your voice at the Capitol as important issues are debated during the session. This year’s survey focused on the state budget and the $5.1 billion deficit we have to eliminate this session. Here are the questions with the results:

How should the Legislature solve the projected $5.1 billion state
budget deficit?
A. Cut spending – 55%
B. Raise taxes and fees – 1%
C. A combination of both – 44%

Under our current economic situation, which of these policies do you feel should be the Legislature’s top priority?
A. Borrow money to fund construction projects – 6%
B. Pass tax relief and incentives to encourage businesses growth and job creation – 46%
C. Increase spending for K-12 and higher education – 11%
D. Income tax relief to let individuals and families keep more of their money – 27%
E. Raise taxes in order to better fund and/or expand state government programs – 10%

In even numbered years, the state legislature typically approves legislation that borrows money to help fund construction projects across the state. Historic averages would put borrowing for these projects this year in the $800 million to $1 billion range. With this being an odd numbered year, and with Minnesota facing financial problems and serious unemployment, how big should the bonding bill be this year?
A. More than $1 billion – 4%
B. Between $800 million and $1 billion – 23%
C. Less than $800 million – 33%
D. We should not borrow more money to fund construction projects this year – 40%

How important is building a new Vikings stadium?
A. Very important – 18%
B. Somewhat important – 19%
C. Not important – 63%

Currently, Native American tribes hold a monopoly on Vegas-style gambling (slot machines, table games) in Minnesota. Years ago, the State of Minnesota reached agreements with the tribes that allowed them to operate casinos on their land. In light of Minnesota’s economic woes, which answer best reflects how you feel about casino operations in Minnesota?
A. We should let the Native Americans keep their casino monopoly in Minnesota – 18%
B. We should try to renegotiate the casino agreements with the tribes, which could allow the state to receive additional revenue. If that does not work, Minnesota should expand gambling revenues – 43%
C. Minnesota should expand gambling venues and use profits to help fund state government – 39%

Should Minnesota allow off-sale liquor sales on Sunday?
A. Yes – 74%
B. No – 26%

Again, my thanks to everyone who filled out my annual legislative survey.

With one month remaining in the legislative session, it’s time for House and Senate leaders to complete negotiations on our budget bills
and craft them in a way that Governor Dayton will hopefully find acceptable.

If you have thoughts or ideas on this process or anything else, feel free to call or email me. You can reach me by email at
rep.denny.mcnamara@house.mn, or by phone at the Capitol at 651-296-3135, or at home at 437-2597.

Keep in touch,

Representative Denny McNamara
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

If you would like to receive my periodic email updates go to http://www.house.mn/57B and click on “Email Updates.”

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