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2013 Session update:

Dear friends and neighbors,

This session has truly been the ‘education session.’ We see that both with early education and college readiness initiatives in the E-12 bill along with the higher education tuition freeze that we passed. We are following through with students from an early age through higher education to make sure that they are prepared for 21st century careers. We are choosing to invest in Minnesota's number one asset, human capital. We couldn't have done this without you!


E-12: The Omnibus E-12 Education Finance and Policy Bill fully funds all-day, every day kindergarten and invests $40 million in early learning childhood scholarships. All-day K and early childhood education are proven tools to improve test scores, close the achievement gap, and prepare students for future academic success. In addition to increased funding for kindergarten and early childhood, the bill also increases the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by three percent over the biennium.

Higher-Ed: Over the past decade, tuition has nearly doubled at state colleges and universities. As Vice Chair of the Higher Education Committee, I was happy to be part of a team that passed a bill primarily focusing largely on holding down tuition and reducing student debt. The bill also allocates funds to the MnDrive research program at the University of Minnesota and the Office of Higher Education to increase grants for access, choice, and debt reduction. The Higher Education bill also includes reforms to better hold the U of M and MnSCU accountable for budgeting practices that have come under fire due to rising administrative costs.

Jobs: One of the most important parts of the jobs bill we passed this year provides businesses with a $346 million tax cut. As a part-owner of a local restaurant, I worked diligently on efforts to help out small businesses, and this provision will go a long way to reduce costs for employers. The tax cut is the biggest of its kind in Minnesota history, and will provide the average employer $150 per employee.  The cut is achieved by reducing the rate that employers pay into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

In addition to the tax cut to businesses, the bill invests in proven strategies to create jobs here in Minnesota. The bill includes funding for the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF), one of the state’s leading job creation tools. MIF attracts new businesses to Minnesota by providing financial incentives to companies looking to set up shop in Minnesota, and to in-state companies looking to expand. This is one of several examples to attract new business and increase jobs in the state.

Minnesota currently has a Trade Office in China, and the jobs bill will create three additional Trade Offices in other parts of the world to bring Minnesota products to the global marketplace. The Trade Offices help introduce Minnesota businesses to other parts of the world.

Lastly, the jobs bill includes workforce development initiatives to target the current “skills gap” faced as employers have job openings but workers lack needed skills. The jobs bill includes a new apprentice program for manufacturers through a partnership with MnSCU institutions, funding for the Job Skills Partnership and FastTRAC, and regular reports on the occupations that are in the highest demand.  These initiatives will help Minnesota workers find high-demand employment in the state.

More updates on this session coming soon!



I am happy and grateful to have the support and endorsement of the following organizations:


  • Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Assocation
  • Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters
  • IUOE Local 49
  • Minnesota Association of Professional Employees
  • OutFront Minnesota
  • Education Minnesota
  • Clean Water Action
  • IBEW Local 292
  • Project 515
  • Sierra Club
  • AFSCME Council 5
  • AFSCME Council 65
  • United Transportation Union
  • SEIU
  • Conservation Minnesota
  • Minnesota Nurses Association