Ron Shimanski :: Minnesota House of Representatives






2011-01-16

2011 Legislative Session

The 2011 Legislative session is underway with new leadership in the House, Senate, and the Governor's office.  Everyone is getting attuned to their new responsibilities and opportunities.  It's a new era for state government.  A time to make bold moves to right the course of Minnesota's government, but such changes must come with judicious forethought.  The first legislative bill introductions have been registered with some sound initiatives.  Now comes the committee deliberation to weigh the pro's and con's of the important bills to determine if they are more helpful or cost effective than current law.  I urge everyone to be attentive to what is happening in the Legislature,  follow the bills and committee action, and most importantly, citizens must let their legislators know how they perceive and evaluate the reamifications of the bills being debated.  The new members of the House and Senate are dynamic men and women, here to work for the good of all Minnesotans.  Please encourage them to hold firm to their convictions in service to all.

As I begin my third term, my committee assignments include; Agriculture and Rural Development, Transportation, and vice chair of the Judiciary Committee.  I am also serving on a "Ladder Out of Poverty" task force, with my work group developing financial education guidelines for K-12 students and adults.  As always your questions, input and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

 We are charged with balancing the State budget in this legislative session.  Revenues for the 2012-2013 biennium will increase approximately 5% to $32 Billion.  It is our intent to live within our means, not raise taxes, or continue to spend more than we collect in revenue.  Without structural change in State statutes, we would be on a course to spend over $38 Billion in the next biennium.  Now is the prime opportunity to reform, revamp, review, and restructure how we provide services to the people of Minnesota, to eliminate excessive and redundant bureaucracy in state and local government.  The emphasis should be on returning local control to counties, cities, townships, and school districts.

In all of this process and deliberation, we must be mindful of the need to help or allow the private sector to create the jobs necessary to grow out of this recession.  Long term, sustained economic growth can only be assured through the productivity and employment within the private sector.  The legislature's job should be to remove barriers and obstructions that stall job growth in Minnesota.  Repeatedly, we are told of jobs leaving Minnesota for other states or foreign countries where the costs and burden of doing business are much less than they are here.  We have tremendous resources here, the best of which is our well educated workforce, agricultural production, forests, minerals, water, recreation, and four definitive seasons.  Our workforce and industry leaders are willing, but the bureaucracy impedes our efficient development of these resources.  The Federal government also compounds this problem.  Corporate taxes, Environmental Protection Agency rules and restrictions as well as labor laws and other federal interventions, meant to protect us, drive up our costs and diminish any technological or competitive advantage we may have over producers around the globe.  In this global economy, America and Minnesota should lead in productivity and prosperity.  It is up to us to bring about the changes needed to make it happen!  But the voters and citizens have to back us up, to help persuade and convince those reluctant or resistant to change, that we need to release the productive potential within us all.  Let us all do our part.  May God Bless America!

Ron Shimanski
 
The best way to contact me is by e-mail: <rep.ron.shimanski@house.mn>
                                             by phone: 651-296-1534 or 1-800-920-5882
                                             by US mail: Rep. Ron Shimanski
                                                               100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 
                                                                St. Paul, Mn. 55155-1298           

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