SAINT PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House adjourned Monday evening, officially concluding the 2015 legislative session. Legislative leaders passed the budget for 2016-17 with strong bipartisan support, concluding their work on time before the constitutionally-mandated adjournment deadline.
At the beginning of session, the new House Republican majority pledged to prioritize education, aging adults, and roads and bridges. Furthermore, the new majority sought to restore balance at the Capitol, representing views from across the state. With those priorities in mind, the House Majority crafted and passed a bipartisan budget with the Senate DFL majority that invested in these priorities while working to ensure that government spending did not grow faster than family budgets.
“Republicans delivered for our students and our aging adults, and enacted dozens of innovative reforms to improve of the lives of Minnesota families. We proved we can work together – Republicans and Democrats – to do what’s right for Minnesotans. With broad bipartisan support behind this budget, House Republicans look forward to the governor signing our budget into law,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.
The bipartisan education bill includes $400 million in new funding for K-12 Education, 72 percent of which goes directly onto the per pupil formula. At 1.5 percent in 2016 and 2 percent in 2016, the education budget dedicates more per pupil than Governor Dayton proposed in his own budget. It also invests more than $60 million in proven early-learning programs to help close the achievement gap. The Health and Human Services budget bill included one of the top Republican priorities of the 2015 session, a total reform of the senior care reimbursement system that will result in $138 million in increased funding, improving the wages of care providers and establishing a permanent solution to statewide nursing home needs.
“What a difference it makes to have balance in St. Paul,” said House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers. “Two years ago, the legislature imposed a $2.1 billion tax increase on Minnesotans, authorized taxpayer-funded bonuses for MNsure executives, and built a new office building for politicians. With balance restored in state government, we’ve been able to put forward bipartisan budget proposals that invest in the priorities of Minnesotans without raising taxes.”
“Next session, Republicans will continue to work on solving problems facing Minnesotans including repairing roads and bridges without a harmful gas tax increase, as well as providing tax relief for middle-class families,”concluded Speaker Daudt
During the 2015 session, Republicans proposed a transportation plan that would invest $7 billion in roads and bridges without a tax increase, and passed $2 billion dollars in tax relief primarily targeted at Minnesota families. Democrats declined to take up either a long-term transportation or taxes unless a gas tax increase was part of the end result.
The 2016 legislative session is scheduled to convene on March 8, 2016 at 12:00 PM.