Rep. Michael Beard on Highway 101 Reconstruction, Electricity Rates, State of the State
The weekly email newsletter to constituents from Rep. Michael Beard (R-Shakopee).
Rep. Michael Beard (55A) - Email Newsletter
On February 6, Governor Dayton gave his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate. We were accompanied by state Supreme Court justices, constitutional officers, former governors, and special guests.
I was honored to host the owner of a local manufacturing company from Burnsville. My guest employs about 50 local residents, and she understands the daily sacrifices of a small business owner. The company struggled during the recession and clawed its way back to profitability over the last few years. It’s because of jobs and jobs creators like these I’m here working to prevent overzealous regulations and taxes that would ultimately put our economy in jeopardy.
In the governor’s speech, he acknowledged that policies championed by Republican majorities over the last two years delivered positive results for Minnesota. Our policies have resulted in refilling the cash flow accounts, repaying the school shift by $1.6 billion so far, and creating a projected surplus for the 2016-17 biennium. We understand what it takes to support job growth and economic recovery; we prioritized prudent and judicious spending decisions, which resulted in a significant budget turnaround and lower unemployment.
Hopefully, the governor’s proposals won’t undo the difficult work we’ve done. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work together with our colleagues across the aisle to produce a budget that works for all Minnesotans—one that does not strap the middle class and small business owners with multi-billion dollar tax hikes.
Shakopee Visitors and Speaking Engagements
I had the honor of meeting with Jenna Fink, an Information Helpline Care Consultant for Minnesota Alzheimer’s Association, as well as Mike Burlager, Director of Finance at Shakopee Public Schools and Chair of the State Association of School Business Officials Legislative Committee.
I also had the opportunity to speak at the Transportation Alliance’s “Transportation Day at the Capitol,” and the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association event, where I visited with John Crooks, Utilities Manager of the Shakopee Public Utilities Commission.
I attended the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week, where I listened to Laura Bordelon, Senior Vice President of Advocacy, talk about the upcoming budget with our local business leaders. We received a lot of good feedback, and folks asked reasonable questions while defending the viability of their enterprises.
On a local note, I continue to monitor the Highway 101 reconstruction project. The good news is that the old highway will be open while they’re building the new bridge.
In addition, I am working on legislation to help bring Emerson Process Management to Shakopee. Emerson would create 500 new manufacturing jobs in Scott County, and I’m meeting with city and county officials to make sure we land those jobs here.
The first bill we passed this year was a bipartisan effort to come into compliance with federal income and corporate franchise tax changes. This bill will allow the good people of our district to do their income taxes for 2012, rather than having to amend their returns in the future.
I have spent time and energy defending the reliability and quality of your electricity, but you should know that environmentalists are at the Capitol clamoring for an increase in solar mandates. I agree with electrical engineers that we’ve pushed the renewable mandates as far as we can, and further mandates would jeopardize the state of things. Most concerning is that consumers would be saddled with rising electric rates, as utility providers are forced to pass along mounting costs generated from federal and state mandates.
Legislative Audit Commission Election
I was recently elected Vice Chair of the Legislative Audit Commission, a bi-partisan group that oversees the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA). In addition to routine audits of every state agency, the OLA investigates mismanagement and wrongdoing in state agencies and programs. I was the commission chair for the past two years, and we did a lot of useful work, particularly uncovering the rogue deeds of the Metro Gang Strike Force.
As usual, when you see me around town, don’t hesitate to step up and introduce yourself. I’m here to serve the people and priorities of Shakopee, and my door is always open.
Have a great week,
**Encourage your neighbors and friends to sign up for my email updates at www.house.mn/55A