Representative Jim Davnie Newsletter

Dear Neighbors,

The 2010 Legislative Session came to a close just two weeks ago. Intense, sometimes testy, deliberations between the legislative leaders and the Governor resulted in a deal that left few happy and Minnesota’s long term needs unresolved.

In the end the House DFL prioritized balancing the state’s budget, creating jobs and strengthening our economy, protecting our schools, and making health care more accessible to more Minnesotans. The House managed to pass a bonding bill that put over 20,000 people to work bolstering our infrastructure. The Jobs Bill II, which included my Angel Investor Tax Credits, ensured that Minnesota would invest in green technology and entrepreneurship. We aimed to lay the foundation for an economic recovery that will last.

The final agreement makes important moves toward fixing the state’s severe cash flow problem. If we hadn’t figured that out the state would be suffering through a California-like fiscal nightmare of issuing IOU’s instead of checks and watching our bond rating fall further.

We recognized the weakness of the General Assistance Medical Care fix passed earlier in the session. It came after the Governor’s threatened veto of a more comprehensive proposal. So the DFL pushed hard to participate in the federal early Medicaid option. Minnesota is one state allowed to establish an early Medicaid program, serving low income Minnesotans in a more efficient manner. It also pays providers at levels closer to their actual expenses.

By enrolling in the program Minnesota would have received $1.4 billion in federal aid and been able to cover more people with health insurance. The program would have cost Minnesota $188 million over the next three years. That investment would mean seven dollars in federal matching funds for every dollar Minnesota spent. Unfortunately the Governor opposed stepping forward with this plan.

In the end the opt-in is now in statute which means that our current Governor and whoever comes next can decide if we should participate. Not participating would require another billion dollars cut from the budget next year.

I hope you can join Senator Torres Ray, Representative Wagenius, and me at one of our Town Hall forums over the next week to discuss the legislative session.

Sincerely,
Jim Davnie
District 62A

Town Hall forums

Saturday, June 5 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Midtown Farmers Market, 2225 East Lake Street.  Come to the Town Hall and enjoy the market.

Monday, June 7 7:30-8:30 p.m. Longfellow Park, 3435 36th Avenue South.

Tuesday, June 8 7:00-8:00 p.m. at pearl Park, 414 East Diamond Lake Road.

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