The Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority Leader met last Friday to discuss bringing the Legislature back to finish the work left undone at the end of the session. The Governor and Speaker of the House want to proceed but are meeting resistance from the Republican-controlled Senate. However, the Governor said they agreed to bring back some of the committee chairs this week to work out their differences.
This is a perfect time to once again contact the Governor, legislative leadership, and your legislator urging them to come to an agreement so that a special session can be called and the tax and budget bills can be passed.
Following are some talking points to help develop your email.
- Some say that the Legislature passed the state’s two-year budget last year, and the government is fully funded. That is not true. The state owes Minnesota schools $820 million due to the unfunded costs of providing mandated special education services, referred to as the special education cross-subsidy. Although the Federal government promised to pay 40% of the cost, it never has. Still, the other 60% is clearly the state’s responsibility. The Senate’s last offer proposed paying 40% of the cross-subsidy. (See all the House and Senate offers.)
- The cross-subsidy relief in the education bill is crucial for school districts throughout the state. It would free up general fund revenue to address other pressing academic, social, and emotional needs of all students.
- For SEE districts, the $40 million increase in equalization for the Local Option Revenue (LOR) in the tax bill would provide needed tax fairness for low property wealth school districts. Too many districts struggle to pass voter-approved levies to make up for inadequate state funding because the taxpayer cost is too high.
- The legislators walked away from passing the school levy tax relief and reducing the special education cross-subsidy, and they must come back for a special session to get the work done! Minnesota students and taxpayers deserve nothing less.
It is not too late! Contact the Governor and legislators as soon as you can!
Contact the Governor and top House and Senate leadership with a message to return to St. Paul, finish their work on these critical bills, and call a special session to process the bills.
If the Governor’s email bounces back, you can cut and paste your email into his email form