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Report from the Session
March 24, 2010
I hope you've all been enjoying our early spring weather -- I know I am. Those who are familiar with the Capitol complex know that all of the House offices are located in the State Office Building across the street from the Capitol. During the winter months we travel back and forth from our offices to the Capitol using a long underground tunnel. As we move further into the legislative session, our days get busier and floor sessions last longer, so it’s always a nice break to enjoy the warmer weather by making the trips back and forth outside. I read in the paper today that we stand a good chance of having a snow-free March for the first time since they started tracking weather data in 1884.
This week has been one of the busier ones in an already unusually busy session. Monday we passed a bill to balance one-third of our state’s $994 million budget deficit. The cuts came from 10 different service areas and total $312 million. Excluded from these cuts are Health and Human Services and K-12 education. We are currently trying to determine the impact the federal healthcare reform legislation that President Obama signed into law yesterday will have on Minnesota, but we know we stand to gain significant funding for both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that will help offset our budget challenges at least a little. So before making additional cuts, we are waiting to get a clear picture from Washington.
My fellow legislators and I have also made significant progress on a jobs-focused agenda that aims to address our serious economic and fiscal challenges facing Minnesota. Well ahead of schedule, we’ve passed legislation that will put thousands of Minnesotans back to work, provide basic health care for 85,000 poor, sick Minnesotans, help small businesses compete in a global economy, and make Minnesota’s election system the best in the country.
We still have difficult decisions ahead, but just as we’re seeing signs of spring, we’re seeing bits of good news on the horizon – not the least of which is that for the first time since 2005, Minnesota added jobs to the economy in January. While we still have a long way to go to achieve a full recovery, we need to take our good news anywhere we can.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll continue working to get people working again and to return our state to firm financial footing. Please continue to contact me with your questions, suggestions and ideas. I always appreciate your input.
State Representative Sandra Masin
House District 38A
Please Share Your Input – Take My Legislative Survey
With many serious issues confronting our state, I appreciate hearing from constituents. I believe open dialogue with the people of our district allows me to be a better representative, and I often find myself wishing all of my colleagues in the Legislature had the same common sense, compassion and savvy the people of our district seem to have.
I have created an online survey for you to share your ideas about what you think our priorities should be. Please take a few minutes to complete it by visiting my House website
South Metro Communities in Race to Get Faster Internet Service
Google has announced plans to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a number of trial locations across the country. The network would deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections.
Communities across the nation have entered the race to win one of the Google grants, including a couple of them right here in the south metro. Dakota Future, a collaborative effort of business, education and local units of government is submitting an application on behalf of Dakota County, and the Cities of Eagan and Burnsville are submitting applications as well.
To learn more about the either the Dakota Future or the Eagan and Burnsville plans and applications, visit their websites at:
Dakota Future Fiber
City of Eagan
City of Burnsville