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Rep. Masin posted the following letter to the editor
of the SunThisWeek paper.
State needs to fund priorities
May 14, 2015 at 9:33 am
To the editor:
With just a few days left of the legislative session, I have concerns with much of the House majority (Republican) budget. With a $2 billion projected surplus, I hoped this session would be a time to make significant investments in our future, including education, transportation and balancing the budget. However, House Republicans have proposed deep cuts to health and human services, underfunding education, and permanent tax cuts for the owners of the largest corporations in our state. For the rest of us, we'll see $50 to $70 in tax relief over two years, but it's temporary and pales in comparison to the big business tax cuts.
The House education proposal increases school funding by just 0.6 percent - a number school officials have warned this will cause teacher layoffs and larger class sizes. School district officials in House District 51A and around the state are saying they need 2 to 3 percent increased on the funding formula to avoid deep cuts. Likewise, we came into session knowing that a comprehensive transportation package is essential to meet the needs of Minnesota's crumbling infrastructure. Yet, the Republican majority's bill shifts money from one area to another, limiting new investments. We need to fix our roads and bridges with a responsible and long-term solution, not another "one time" fix.
Funding for nursing home and home health care workers is at a crisis stage. We are hearing of incredible staff turnover rates and some facilities are closing wings just because they do not have enough staff. These people need to be paid competitive wages, and it's up to us to make the needed investments to ensure our seniors are receiving local, quality care. And again, the majority is postponing a real fix to this problem so that they can provide a corporate tax break.
These misplaced priorities are alarming, but I am hopeful that the final budget put forward by the House, Senate and governor will include sustainable and responsible funding for these critical areas. I will continue advocating for a bipartisan budget that moves Minnesota into the future and puts families first.
Rep. Sandra Masin
DFL-Eagan, District 51B
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