Saltzman, Bunn and Swails to hold legislative town hall meeting
State Senator Kathy Saltzman (DFL-Woodbury), State Representative Julie Bunn (DFL-Lake Elmo), and State Representative Marsha Swails (DFL-Woodbury), announced they will hold a joint legislative town meeting on Saturday, Feb. 7 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Woodbury City Hall.
The legislators will hold an open discussion of issues that are expected to be addressed in the 2009 legislative session. All interested citizens are encouraged to attend with their questions, concerns and ideas.
"With a $4.8 billion projected shortfall, the state's budget will dominate legislative discussions this year," Saltzman said. "The primary focus of the legislative session will be on stimulating our economy and producing jobs for Minnesotans. Our decisions need to be centered on what can bring our state future prosperity."
The 2009 Legislative Session is expected to bring heated debates and difficult decisions as legislators work together with the governor to solve the massive budget problem.
"Clearly tough choices lie ahead of us to address the budget deficit and stimulate economic recovery in our state," Bunn said. "But I am already encouraged by the collaborative work underway to address these challenges. Many minds are working hard to identify innovative solutions. I am also encouraged by the good input I am receiving from local officials and citizens throughout the District. I welcome you to join this conversation."
In addition to a discussion of the state's budget, the legislators are seeking input from area residents about other important issues as well, such as transportation, education, health care, the environment and other matters of concern.
"We're facing some big challenges this session, not the least of which is jump-starting our economy and getting people back to work," said Swails, who was recently elected to her second term in the Minnesota House. "We have only five months this session to tackle some serious issues and Minnesotans are counting on us. Hearing a wide range of views and ideas helps me better represent Woodbury, Landfall and our state."
Saltzman noted that the Minnesota Senate has launched a new website to provide state budget information and to gather ideas from Minnesotans to aid legislators as they work to solve the budget deficit.
The website, http://budgetforum.senate.mn, provides easy-to-understand information showing how state dollars are spent in key areas. Visitors to the site can directly comment and provide ideas under various budget categories, and senators can participate directly with the public.
The site allows Minnesotan an opportunity to offer suggestions and comments on how to solve the deficit with common-sense reforms.
The House of Representatives has created a similar website at http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/budgetsuggestions.asp.
Saltzman and Bunn will host a second town meeting on Saturday, Feb. 14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Boutwells Landing Community Room, 5600 Norwich Parkway, Oak Park Heights.
Those interested in 2008 legislative activities, but who are unable to attend the town hall meeting are encouraged to contact Saltzman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her office at (651) 296-4166. Swails can be contacted at email@example.com or by calling her office at (651) 296-1147, and Bunn can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her office at (651) 296-4244.
Woodbury City Hall is located at 8301 Valley Creek Road in Woodbury.