As we bring in a new year, each of us with thoughts of what must be accomplished in 2014, I thought it would be useful to briefly reflect upon what happened in the Minnesota Legislature in 2013. First, I want to thank the people of Senate District 36 (Champlin, Coon Rapids and Brooklyn Park) for sending me to the state senate. A humbling challenge, rich in opportunity to help Minnesota through the issues of our time. To the people of Minnesota, I say thank you for their advice, guidance and perseverance as Minnesota leads the nation out of years of recession and difficulty.
I am happy to report Minnesota’s economy is working again. For the first time in nearly a decade, in transparent steps, we balanced the state budget without accounting gimmicks and borrowing. In fact we now are looking at a surplus. All kinds of new business, big and small, have expanded in Minnesota. In the last year alone, we have welcomed Access International, Baxter Pharmaceutical and recently Olympus International to our District. These companies are bringing good paying jobs and opportunity to our communities.
In 2013 we saw the troubling trend of rising property taxes stopped and reversed. Most Minnesotans and businesses will realize a decrease in property taxes or a decline in the upward trend. I was happy to author the legislation equalizing property taxes for school districts like Anoka-Hennepin for the first time since the 1990s.
Minnesota is investing again in Education with voluntary all-day kindergarten statewide and other programs placing influence on early childhood education. We have halted the steep increases in college tuition as we seek solutions to affordable higher education.
For the first time, Minnesota now has a solar standard to meet as we seek alternatives to fossil fuel and emphasize the importance of developing clean energy. I authored the Clean Water Accountability Act which will cause the state to be more efficient and effective at identifying water pollution and targeting clean up. This will cause your contributions to the Clean Water Legacy Fund to be spent more transparently in protecting our great Minnesota water resources.
In health and human services, we are focusing more attention on those among us with the greatest vulnerabilities. Those who care for our elderly and people with disabilities need to be able to make a living as they give this essential care to our family members. We made some progress with nursing homes in 2013 but have a long way to go. I will be talking about the 5% Campaign in the weeks and months ahead and will be asking for your help. Mnsure, when all the challenges of introducing it to the marketplace are smoothed out, will continue to see Minnesota leading the nation in providing healthcare insurance.
One of the biggest issues in the past year has been around marriage. I believe each of us has the right to choose love and be married, no matter our gender. It is about civil rights. Minnesotans did as well and we proudly passed the marriage law in 2013. A controversial issue to be sure but I believe Minnesota is clearly on the right side of history and in fact, leading the nation in recognizing civil and human rights.
Our communities and state are rich in diversity and it is exciting to meet and work with our newest citizens as they become such an essential part of our communities. Our communities are growing and there is opportunity here again.
2013 was a productive and exciting year and I have touched upon a few accomplishments we have made as a state. Yvette and Hope have put together some photos highlighting some of the moments and I invite you to enjoy them with us. 2014 will present new challenges and is a bonding year so we can address some of our infrastructure needs. I depend upon your input and look forward to what we will do together.
From my family to yours … thank you for a great year and may we all have a great year ahead!
Happy New Year,
As we approach the end of 2013, the Minnesota economy is in full comeback mode. We are growing again and our job growth is up. Partisanship has been lessened. Working together without gridlock and partisanship … works.
Locally we have just announced the move of Olympus Surgical Technologies America into our District. Olympus brings 265 workers to a new $37 million, 180,000 square foot facility with a commitment to add an additional 100 well paying jobs to their operations. We competed with Boston, Memphis and Cleveland for the Olympus expansion. Baxter International is bringing hundreds of jobs specializing in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices to the District. They will utilize and expand upon an existing state of the art facility out on Highway 610. Earlier in the year we announced the move of Access America Transport’s largest branch office to the District, bringing a commitment of 500 plus jobs over the next five years. All well paying middle class jobs.
We are experiencing expansion of all kinds of small business jobs throughout the District and State and confidence is coming back. Thank you for your efforts in 2013 and I look forward to working with you in 2014. We are just getting started! Please read the atached State update on the growth in Minnesota’s economic forecast.
I am happy to report additional good news about Minnesota’s growing jobs economy and a savings of $346.5 million for Minnesota businesses over the next two years. The results of the 2013 Legislative session continue to produce for Minnesota’s economy.
I am attaching a news release with the details. A couple more examples of good work getting done when there isn’t gridlock!
Minnesota Business wins
November 19, 2013
Thank you for the rewarding opportunity to serve you in the State Senate, this past year. I believe 2013 will be known as the year we turned it around, here in Minnesota. Thanks to you and through you, I have had the opportunity to contribute to this comeback. Our work is not yet done and I am asking for your help again.
There are two opportunities, right now, that will help prepare me for this next election. There is an event Friday, Nov. 22 in Coon Rapids and the everyday opportunity to maximize your Personal Contribution Refund. That’s right, the PCR program is back in Minnesota. Individuals may contribute up to $50.00 (couples $100.00) and receive a full refund. Please see the attached PCR flyer with details. Hoffman PCR flyer2013
Please join me at a fundraising event for my campaign, Friday, November 22 from 5:00 to 8:00 at Davanni’s in Coon Rapids. Join Rep. Melissa Hortman, Rep. Jerry Newton, Sen. Alice Johnson and Sen. Chris Eaton in celebrating my first year as your Minnesota State Senator. Invitation is linked here Hoffman FRFlyer11-22-13 (1)
Everything we do this calendar year matters! Thank you for your help and I look forward to working with you as we prepare for the 2014 session.
via the 5% Campaign-
The “5% Campaign” is a nonpartisan coalition working together to ask state legislators for a 5% rate increase for community-based services for people with disabilities and older adults in 2014. A decade of stagnation has produced significant challenges – a 5% rate increase to community-based services is critical to move Minnesota back on track.
People with disabilities, older adults, caregivers, workers, providers, family members, and advocates throughout Minnesota have joined together in this major statewide campaign. The lives that many people with disabilities and older adults build for themselves depend on state funding.
These critical supports allow people to be more independent by providing staffing and transportation so that people can be active employees and volunteers in their communities, fostering skill development, ensuring health and safety, and more.
Minnesotans with disabilities and older adults need to be a priority during the 2014 legislative session.