By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 8/25/2017
Hello from the State Capitol,
The arrival of September means residents can expect a number of changes: leaves changing color, football on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and students heading back to school.
With parents beginning to think about their child’s classes and classroom expenses, I thought now would be a great time to remind residents how the Legislature prioritized K-12 Education last session.
Some people believe that bipartisanship no longer occurs at the Capitol, but that is truly not the case. Last session a Republican-led Legislature and Governor Dayton agreed to a historic education funding proposal designed to give schools and teachers the resources they need to succeed.
Some of the agreement areas: $1.3 billion in new revenue will be allocated to schools across Minnesota, and there’s a two percent increase to the per pupil funding formula over each of the next two years. Locally, our K-12 funding proposal means South Washington County schools will receive $7.703 million in funding increases, while Hastings will collect $1.825 million in new revenue.
The legislature also implemented meaningful reforms during the 2017 session, including an investment in proven early education programming like pre-K scholarships and school readiness.
All of us want to see our children receive a world-class education, and providing needed resources to our school districts is certainly one of the ways we can help achieve that goal.
I’d also like to remind parents about Minnesota’s tax credit programs for education expenses, so be sure to save your school supply receipts this year.
Qualifying items include writing utensils, textbooks, and musical instrument rentals, while things like school lunches, uniforms, and backpacks do not. Full details about the education credit, and what can and cannot be claimed, are found on the Department of Revenue’s website: http://www.revenue.state.mn.us.
Here’s wishing the best of luck to all of the students, parents, and teachers in South Washington County and Hastings schools. Have a wonderful school year.
Many of you will be heading to the State Fair before school begins, and if you are, I encourage you to visit with me at the House of Representatives booth.
I will be talking with fairgoers from 2:00 – 4:00 PM on Saturday, August 26, and 10:00 AM – 12 Noon on Friday, September 1. The House of Representatives booth is located in the Education Building on Cosgrove Street, just north of Dan Patch Ave.
Please stop by the House of Representatives booth and vote in the annual House opinion poll and chat about whatever’s on your mind. I hope to see you there!
In other news, on Tuesday I was pleased to help celebrate a groundbreaking for the expansion of Norris Square Senior Living in Cottage Grove.
Also, as a member of the House Capital Investment Committee, we have begun our tour of the state to visit communities that are seeking bonding proceeds for their construction projects. This gives members a good opportunity to see specifically what the projects are and ask questions, as next session we will be crafting a capital investment bill that will include some or many of these proposals.
Last week we traveled to northern Minnesota, which included a stop at Itasca State park, home of the Mississippi River headwaters.
A tour of southern Minnesota is also planned in the coming weeks.
Have a good weekend,
Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155