The 2016 Session
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95 University Avenue W.
Room 3111
St. Paul, MN 55155

Erik Peterson
Legislative Assistant

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Greetings, neighbors.

The new year is upon us and I believe we can look forward, with hope, to this coming legislative session. While none of us knows the future, the combination of our historically short session (March-May), a state budget surplus and, the impending general election gives the legislature good reason to accomplish what most Minnesotans want with a minimum of wasted time and breathe

Among the legislative priorities that Minnesotans have mentioned most frequently is a substantial increase in funding for our transportation infrastructure. Minnesotans are tired of pot-holes and traffic bottlenecks. In the wake of the unreserved $1.206 billion budget surplus, Gov. Dayton has wisely concluded that his proposed gas tax increase is “dead.” With that roadblock off of the table, a productive transportation funding compromise should go forward this year.   

Tax cuts are another popular priority with constituents. And, according to press reports, members from both political parties are expressing support for such a move. Gov. Dayton has said he would not sign a tax relief bill unless the Legislature also sends him another funding increase for early childhood education. We’ll see where that idea goes but, I believe it would be a mistake for him to continue to insist on universal pre-school for all four-year-olds. The families that form our state would be much better served by expanding child and dependent care income tax credits and enlarging K-12 and working family tax credits.

The old political adage says that no one’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. Historically that has often been true. But, to cite another enduring adage, hope springs eternal.

As your elected representative to the Minnesota Senate, I welcome your contact. My Capitol office is located at 103 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55155. I am also available by phone at 651-296-5975, or by email at