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Minnesota Government Update


March 31, 2010



Supplemental Budget Bill on its Way to Governor Pawlenty
State lawmakers passed the first round of budget cuts this week to address the state’s billion dollar budget deficit. The legislation resolves one-third of the state projected deficit by cutting spending in nearly every department of state government other than health and human services and K-12 education. Those areas will be addressed later in the legislative session. Budget cuts in this first round include $105 million to county and city aids, $47 million to higher education, $33 million to state government operations, and $14.5 million to transportation. 

Jobs Bill
Legislation sponsored by Representative Ann Lenczewski and Senator Tom Bakk known as the “Jobs Bill” passed both chambers on Monday. Several tax credits are incorporated in the bill, including the “angel investment tax credit” and the historic structure rehabilitation tax credit. Provisions for expansion of the Mall of America are also included in the bill, which passed the House floor after a 112-20 vote and the Senate with a vote of 58-3.

Legislative Break
State lawmakers are in their home districts this week for the Easter-Passover break. The House and Senate both adjourned by 4:00 p.m. on Monday and will reconvene for floor sessions at noon on Tuesday, April 6. Considering the progress that was made over the past week, it is possible that the 2010 legislative session will end prior to the May 17 constitutionally required adjournment deadline. 

Legislative Retirements
Senator Dennis Fredrickson (R-New Ulm), the longest serving Republican State Senator in Minnesota, announced this week that he will not be running for re-election. Fredrickson joins a long list of legislators who have announced they will not be running in 2010. That list includes Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Representative Marty Seifert, former Minority Leader, who are running for Governor; and Senator Tarryl Clark who is running for Congress against incumbent Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Other retirements include Representatives Karla Bigham, Jeremy Kalin, Cy Thao, Randy Demmer, Dan Severson, and Rob Eastlund, and Senators Steve Dille, Steve Murphy, Pat Pariseau and Jim Vickerman.

For up-to-date information about the Minnesota Legislature, tune into Almanac: At the Capitol. This lively and informative program is aired Wednesdays during the legislative session on Twin Cities Public Television at 7:00 PM on Channel 17 and at 10:00 PM on Channel 2.

Almanac: At the Capitol is seen on all public television stations throughout Minnesota and in Fargo. Winthrop & Weinstine is the exclusive law-firm partner and a sponsor of the program.

For more information and to see previous broadcasts, check out the Almanac: At the Capitol Web site at http://tpt.org/aatc/.
 
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