I received this message from Representative Larry Haws today:

Federal-State Programs Important to Minnesota Economic Recovery

I'm honored the citizens of District 15B elected me to represent them and I'm looking forward to the challenges. This is not a time for fear; this is a time for courage, a time for reform and reinventing government, and a time to work together in the upcoming Legislative Session.

To say we have our work cut out for us is an understatement. The current state of the economy is clearly affecting our pocket books as we contend with increasing unemployment, ever-tightening credit, increasing foreclosures, weak consumer spending, and declines in the stock market.

Although we are facing a historic budget deficit and a long, deep economic recession, I am heartened by the anticipated change in national leadership. I think our President-Elect Obama will be good for the nation and good for the state of Minnesota, first and foremost because he is a leader who understands the importance of partnering federal and state governments together in these challenging times.

The federal government can help stimulate Minnesota's economic recovery by investing in existing federal-state programs. My top five picks for where federal monies should be invested include:
1) Fully fund No Child Left Behind and special education mandates so that we can continue to invest in workforce development,
2) Provide Medicaid reimbursement by temporarily increasing federal medical assistance to sustain those in need of health care coverage during this slow economy,
3) Reauthorize SCHIP to increase the reimbursement for children's health insurance,
4) Extend unemployment benefits to help stabilize our workforce, and
5) Invest in infrastructure projects that will put our skilled labors to work.

The federal government could be a very helpful partner with the state government and I think it's a key to helping us through this recession. Other keys include the state showing the same kindness to our counties, cities and schools. Let us extend the same understanding to these entities as we are asking from the federal government.

This is a time to put policy in front of politics. It's time that we're one Minnesota. Once we get through these challenges, we must have a vision for the future that includes job creation and establishing a recession proof Minnesota.


Larry Haws
State Representative