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February Economic Forecast – 2015

\The Office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released their February Economic Forecast today. For the current biennium, there is a $477.6 million projected balance. The projected surplus for Fiscal Years 2016-17 is $1.392 billion. Combined with what is left from Fiscal Years 2014-15, there is $1.869 billion available in the upcoming biennium.

According to MMB documents released today, the surplus is in large part due to the fact that cheaper oil reduces capital expenditures in oil-related industries and allows consumers to deliver spending toward non-gasoline purchases.

If you remember one thing: Today’s news proves that hardworking Minnesotans are over-taxed. At a time when Minnesota families are seeing some relief at the pump with lower gas prices, we should shouldn’t be making it more expensive for Minnesotans to drop their kids off at school and get to work. Imposing a new gas tax on Minnesotans would be a heavy and unnecessary strain on family budgets.

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Also yesterday, Senate File 174 was signed into law. Chief authored by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud) in the House (HF 264), this bill reins in the pay raises the governor issued to his agency executives by:
Restoring legislative oversight of executive branch pay raises (Rep. Roz Peterson’s bill as introduced)
Immediately freezing the salary increases (Senate language approved by Senate DFL & GOP)
Cutting the allocations made to state departments based on the commissioner salary increase (Rep. Steve Drazkowski’s amendment from committee)
IMPORTANT: The DFL-controlled legislature enabled Governor Dayton to give double-digit pay raises to his commissioners because of changes made in 2013 eliminating legislative approval of commissioner salaries (see 2013 House Journal Page 6506 for the vote).

If you remember one thing: At a time when take-home pay for Minnesota families remains flat, it’s outrageous that the Governor, enabled by House and Senate Democrats, would approve enormous salary increases for his agency executives. The new House Republican Majority worked on behalf of all Minnesotans to bring back public oversight of commissioner salaries, freeze the salary increases and make departments live within their means.

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2016 precinct caucuses set for March 1

“DFL & GOP move date of 2016 precinct caucuses –
The Minnesota DFL and the Republican Party of Minnesota have reached an agreement to schedule precinct caucuses for March 1, 2016. State law allows for the chairs of the two major political parties to jointly schedule the date of precinct caucuses for general elections.”

http://politics.mn/2015/02/14/dfl-gop-move-date-of-2016-precinct-caucuses/

RPMN

CD4 GOP Holiday Charity Drive

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The Holiday Charity Drive, a local community outreach event that began in 2013, sponsored by Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District Republicans, continues this year, collecting shelf stable food for families with food insecurities.

Stock up while you’re at the grocery store and drop off donations to one of the handy local drop locations – including Meister’s Bar & Grill at the Shoreview Mall near Highway 96 & Lexington in HD 42A and others in neighboring districts – from Friday, November 21st, thru Saturday, December 6th. Just like last year, all donated items will be picked up by Santa with the assistance of his elves.  Check CD4 GOP Holiday Charity Drive for more details.

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