Lawmaker's Viewpoint: We're still focused on economyMinnesotans continue to receive optimistic news about our economy.
By: Rep. Andrea Kieffer, Woodbury Bulletin
Minnesotans continue to receive optimistic news about our economy. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, around 30,000 private sector jobs have been added in Minnesota in the last three months, and a recent budget forecast shows that we managed to turn a $5 billion deficit into a $1.2 billion budget forecast surplus. Minnesotans are getting back to work and the state is finally able to start paying its bills.
Over the summer, I continued to hold open sessions to discuss issues with you. In light of those conversations, several initiatives have been introduced this session to promote job growth in all areas of our state economy. In addition, we have made advances in the field of education to get the best value for your tax dollars and pave the way for a highly-skilled workforce in the future.
Recently the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act was passed. The fact is, Minnesota has been rated as having one of the worst business tax climates in the nation. This omnibus tax and jobs bill includes proposals to reduce and phase out the statewide business property tax. It also emphasizes investment in innovation and small business that will make Minnesota a magnet for research and development, entrepreneurial innovation, and the bio-tech and medical device industry. Other components of the bill underscore the need for qualified and trained workers in Greater Minnesota, creating an Internship Grant Program, and instituting a tax credit for employers who hire unemployed veterans.
I remain committed to making Minnesota a more economically competitive and attractive place to do business. These reforms will signal to job creators here in Minnesota and around the country that we are "open for business."
You may have seen in last week's Bulletin an article on the radiation moratorium bill. It passed out of the Commerce Committee on March 21, on which I serve. If the governor signs the bill, Woodbury will experience an influx of health care positions. More importantly, cancer patients will have more access to quality treatment closer to home.
As your state representative, I always appreciate your comments and concerns. Please feel free to contact me at any time or attend one of my monthly library listening sessions. I will be at the Woodbury Expo in April, and I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kieffer represents Woodbury in the Minnesota House