Saint Paul, Minnesota – The 2013 Legislative Session adjourned on May 20, finishing on time with an honestly-balanced budget that makes critical investments in education, property tax relief, and job creation. State Representative Jay McNamar (DFL – Elbow Lake) said that the Legislature made great progress for Minnesota.
“I came to St Paul to represent our district and solve problems,” said Rep. McNamar. “After a decade of just making cuts and shifting funds around, I’m proud to say the Legislature put forward a balanced budget that invests in the things that will help our communities most.”
The Legislature accomplished a number of goals, including:
Balancing the Budget Deficit without Gimmicks: A decade of deep budget cuts and dishonest shifts and gimmicks have caused Minnesota to lurch from one budget crisis to the next, limiting our ability to adequately fund education and crucial priorities. This session, the DFL budget put an end to roller-coaster deficits with a fair and balanced budget that will finally put Minnesota on sound fiscal footing, and deliver key investments for a stronger middle class.
Accelerating Pay Back of Our Schools: The previous legislature borrowed $2.4 billion from our schools. The DFL plan will accelerate a plan to pay back Minnesota’s schools and fully pay them back by 2014.
Making Historic Investments in Education: The DFL budget makes a historic $725 million in education for all learners. This kind of commitment to our kids’ futures will allow us to invest in all learners – from early education and all-day kindergarten, to reduce class sizes and restore equity in our K-12 schools, to freeze tuition and lower debt for our college students and their parents.
Creating Jobs: The DFL plan makes $89 million in new investments to spur middle class job creation, calling for more job training, workforce development and small business strategies that are proven job-creating engines to strengthen our economy and workforce.
Fairer Taxes for Middle Class Minnesotans: Over the past decade middle class Minnesotans have been squeezed in order to protect the wealthiest Minnesotans. The DFL budget reverses that trend, providing $400 million in property tax relief for middle class Minnesotans. And it’s paid for by asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans and big corporations to pay their fair share.
Supporting Our Nursing Homes: For the first time in over four years, nursing home workers will see a pay increase. After the legislature cut over $1 billion from Health and Human Services two years ago, the DFL budget gives a 5% increase in pay for nursing home workers in our communities.
“When the House put forward a human services bill with funding cuts for rural hospitals, I told them I wouldn’t vote for it,” said Rep. McNamar. “I fought to make sure our local hospitals and our local nursing home workers were a priority. I got the cut to hospitals taken out of the bill and a pay increase for nursing home workers put in. That work led to a final Health and Human Services bill that we can be happy with.”