Hello from the State Capitol,


Last week, Owatonna was the site of this year’s State of the State address. Specifically, the event was held at the new Owatonna High School. It was nice to see this facility as the centerpiece of the education discussion and all that goes with it. My thanks to all the local members involved in the preparation for this event and the local officials attending.


The governor and the legislative majority recently unveiled their budget targets. They have agreed to spend an additional $512.5 million for the remainder of this biennium. You’ll recall they also spent an $18 billion budget surplus last session, raised taxes by another $10 billion, and crafted a budget that increased government spending by 40%. The same budget projection of a small surplus this year, also projected more than a $1 billion deficit for next biennium.


To me, legislative Democrats are ignoring our looming deficit and warnings from Minnesota’s fiscal experts to be cautious when budgeting, and instead of getting spending under control they want to increase spending at an even more unsustainable pace. These spending decisions might be fun for them to implement now, but they will cause significant headaches for the incoming legislature in 2025.


In other news, the head of the Minnesota State Patrol is stepping down. Colonel Matt Langer has decided to leave the agency in order to take a position with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.


It’s nice to celebrate Colonel Langer’s accomplishment of serving 25 years in the State Patrol. I worked with Colonel Langer numerous times during his tenure, including on the hands-free cell phone while driving proposal. I appreciated his even-handed approach when testifying on a bill, or just when visiting off to the side regarding legislation that was up for debate. Best wishes, Colonel Langer!


Have a good weekend,



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