DFL leaders: Session was productive. Representatives call for more focus on transportation, higher education
Published 10:02 am Friday, May 23, 2014
State Democrats lauded the work done over the past two years at the Minnesota Legislature Thursday and called for more focus on issues like transportation and higher education next year.
Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL Austin, and House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St Paul, highlighted some of the work done in the Legislature during a press conference Thursday, which included $2.5 million for the Shooting Star Trail, new language that gave flexibility to The Hormel Institute to use state bonding money for its upcoming expansion.
“This has been, during my terms on the job, the most productive legislative biennium that I’ve been a part of,” Murphy said.
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Democrats said the work reducing business-to-business taxes, minimum wage increases, cuts to property taxes, increased taxes and decreased loopholes for the state’s highest earners and improved agriculture, including $2 million set aside to match farm food with food shelves across the state.
Poppe and Murphy said transportation infrastructure will likely be one of the biggest issues to address at the Capitol next year
“It’s going to be a necessary issue to address,” Poppe said.
In addition, lawmakers hope to work with Mayo Clinic and other health care providers to reduce health care insurance rates this fall. Southeast Minnesota has seen higher insurance rates under the MNsure health insurance exchange as Mayo Clinic is the only health care provider in the area, which means there is less competition among area health insurance providers to offer lower rates.