Letters: Building projects a focus of session
The 2006 Legislative Session was a highly successful one. New legislation was passed that will benefit our district and the state. The primary focus of the session was the approval of a Capital Investment Package. A total of $700,000 in state bon...
The 2006 Legislative Session was a highly successful one. New legislation was passed that will benefit our district and the state.
The primary focus of the session was the approval of a Capital Investment Package. A total of $700,000 in state bonding dollars will fund a highway overpass in Staples over US Highway 10 and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks. Dollars will also go toward Central Lakes College in Staples and the Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena for improvements.
Finally, the city of Wolf Lake will receive dollars for wastewater improvements and the city of Perham will receive $3 million for a refuse burner (incinerator). These infrastructure investments are important to improving our community and I am pleased they received passage.
Financially, our state is in tremendous shape. With fiscal responsibility, we completed the largest financial turnaround in state history by turning a $4.5 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus. As a result, the Legislature was able to both reduce taxes and invest additional dollars in key areas.
In 2006 we helped alleviate the tax burden by reducing taxes in two ways. We eliminated the "marriage penalty," a change that will help about 419,300 married couples in Minnesota. We also reduced the Alternative Minimum Tax, which will assist approximately 44,300 Minnesotans. Additional dollars were devoted to our environment, early childhood education and public safety. More than $80 million was allocated this year to keep Minnesotans safe by ensuring that sexual predators and the mentally ill and dangerous stay off our streets.
Finally, the Legislature passed important reforms to eminent domain law to protect the personal property rights of Minnesotans and reduce mercury emissions to protect Minnesota's pristine natural resources. For a brief legislative session, this was a tremendously productive one for Minnesota.
Rep. Dean Simpson
R-New York Mills