Vice Chair of Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture
Member of Environment and Energy
Member of Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development
Chair of St. Paul Senate Delegation
Chair of Land Subcommittee
Board of Council on Asian Minnesotans
Board of Council on Black Minnesotans
Member of Council of State Government: Economic Development Committee
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As the 2014 Session is fully wrapped up, I’m happy to say we’ve made real progress and gains for the people of Eastside of St. Paul. The Session began with good news from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) that the state had a $1.2 billion surplus. The Legislature turned part of the surplus into tax credits and property tax relief for more than two million Minnesotans. The news is particularly good if you are married, receiving the Working Family Tax Credit or if you are paying student loans or tuition. More money in the pockets of my constituents to spend in our local economy is a good thing.
We also made significant gains in education with the passage of the Safe Schools Act, we raised minimum wage to $9.50 per hour and we passed 5% Campaign legislation which called for a 5% increase in wages for home and community based caregivers which will help maintain quality care for thousands across the state. I’m proud of my fellow DFL Senate colleagues for accomplishing so much in just 12 short weeks.
But the most significant piece of legislation we passed did not come about until the last few days of session. The legislature’s $1.17 billion bonding bill encompasses projects from all corners of the state. The investment package includes projects in higher education, transportation, housing and infrastructure as well as corrections and public safety. I’m proud to say our district is well represented in the bonding bill, with $35.86 million heading to Metro State for a new Science Education Center, and $450,000 for the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial.
While the 2014 Session has wrapped up, I will be around all summer and am happy to hear from any of my constituents. Until the next time – thank-you for the honor of allowing me to serve as your State Senator.
Sincerely, Foung Hawj
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