I received this legislative update from Representative Larry Haws. It is refreshing to see that my representation in the state legislature is focused on the important matters of our day rather than petty attacks and inconsequential matters. Keep up the great work, Larry!

Legislative Update from Rep. Larry Haws: January 9, 2009

This week we convened the 2009 Legislative Session and all minds are focused on dealing with the projected record-large multi-billion dollar budget shortfall for the next two-year budget cycle.

We are facing challenging budget negotiations that will require legislative leaders to reach across the aisle and help each other find solutions to move Minnesota toward a more stable and prosperous economy. [emphasis mine]

Our budget deficit will drive most of the key decisions we will be making this year. Everything is on the table for consideration and whatever choices or decisions are made about balancing the budget, participation of all parties and voices (yours included) will be needed. [emphasis mine]

I encourage all of you to participate in finding solutions to the challenges before us. The Minnesota House of Representatives has created a Budget Solutions Comment Page on its website http://www.house.mn to give Minnesotans an easy and direct way to communicate their ideas with state leaders as they work to eliminate a projected budget deficit of more than $5 billion. Several hundred ideas have already been received. These ideas will be forwarded to committee chairs, and many will be considered in committees and added to bills that will be introduced on the House floor. Budget solutions will also be accepted by mail or phone: Minnesota Budget Solutions, Minnesota House of Representatives, 470 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155, 800-685-8907.

Important dates to keep in mind as the 2009 Legislative Session proceeds:
  • On January 15, Governor Pawlenty will outline his priorities for the 2009 Legislative Session in his State of the State Address.
  • By January 27, the governor will propose his two-year state budget to eliminate the multi-billion dollar gap between projected spending and anticipated revenue.
  • In the last week of February, an updated state economic forecast on the budget shortfall will provide legislators with information that will be used in our final budget bills during March to mid-May.
  • On May 18, the Legislature will adjourn to meet our constitutional deadline. We will provide a final budget for the governor?s signature.
  • If a budget agreement is not reached, the current two-year budget will expire on July 1 and the next probable step will involve a special session to reach a budget resolution that will work for lawmakers and Minnesotans.


Rep. Larry Haws

I encourage everyone to go to the suggestions page at the Minnesota House site and provide their solutions to this current crisis. We can achieve pure democracy with everyone providing input and participating in the process.