Monday, May 20, 2013
Early education was a huge focus in the $15.7 billion bill, which received slivers of support from Republicans in both chambers of the state capitol.
A $15.7 billion education package that will "make life easier" for working parents, according to the bill's supporters, now awaits Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's signature as work begins to wrap up on the 2013 legislative session. "This is a great day for Minnesota’s students and Minnesota’s future," Sen. Chuck Wiger, who represents parts of Oakdale, said in a statement. "We are investing in programs that work, such as all-day kindergarten and early education. These are strategic investments. Research has shown a 16-to-1 return on investment on money put into early learning opportunities. Sixteen-to-one is a smart investment. Every student in Minnesota should have access to all-day K. It should not be based on your zip code or your ability …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
"The education finance bill took significant steps to reducing property taxes, in addition to making the reforms and funding increase necessary to maintain our world-class education system," according to Kent, a first-term DFLer who represents parts of Oa
Thursday, May 2
For the past 10 years, property taxes on Minnesotans have gone up almost 90 percent and are approaching an unsustainable level. Middle-class families and small businesses are being hammered by an ever-growing property tax burden. The Senate has passed legislation to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in needed relief to our local communities. Every single Minnesotan has felt the increase. It is a problem that was neglected for far too long. The education finance bill took significant steps to reducing property taxes, in addition to making the reforms and funding increase necessary to maintain our world-class education system. The education finance bill buys back $150 million in school levies. Local governments are able to remove …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
“The increased income tax on the third tier of Minnesotans would put us at the high end of income tax rates in the nation, and I am unable to support that,” she said.
The DFL-led Senate on Monday passed an omnibus tax bill on its second vote. Sen. Susan Kent, a first-term DFLer who represents parts of Oakdale, voted against the bill twice. By raising income taxes on the state’s highest earners, increasing cigarette taxes and adding sales tax to clothing and some services, the bill would raise an additional $1.8 billion over the next biennium, according to a Pioneer press report. In a statement, Kent said there were a number of positive items in the bill, “but mixed with one primary negative one that I could not support because of the feedback I’ve heard from constituents—the income tax increase on the third tier.” “I appreciate the important and meaningful tax reforms in the bill, including a lower …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Wiger, a DFLer who represents parts of Oakdale, says the bonding proposals put forward by Gov. Mark Dayton and the House will create thousands of jobs throughout Minnesota.
This session we are looking again at bonding for important infrastructure needs throughout the state. Senate budget committees have spent the last few weeks hearing bonding proposals, with more than 100 bills authored. Lawmakers in our community have requested a variety of projects that constituents are interested in. Here are a few of the local projects being considered as we finish the final four weeks of session: The Senate has taken a thoughtful approach throughout the bonding process. I hope we are able to start these important projects, but this is a continuing discussion with the governor and the House. The bonding proposals put forward by the governor and House will create thousands of jobs throughout Minnesota. Bonding is an …
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The first-term state senator, who represents parts of Oakdale, says she's "happy to be a part of the newly formed 'Purple Caucus,' which is a bipartisan group of legislators dedicated to having a civil conversation to find areas of agreement."
As the 2013 legislative session returns to action, I wanted to share a few examples of the many things I’ve learned in my short time in St. Paul and give you an update of what has taken place so far. The first being, Senators apparently lack the ability to make their own copies. I recently stood outside my office making copies and was mocked by several staff members and colleagues that they’ve never seen a Senator make their own copies before. As a former small business owner, I’m used to a different way of doing things! On a more serious note, however, I have been quite impressed with the hard work and dedication of everybody at the Capitol—fellow legislators, staff members and citizens who take time out of their lives to come testify …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The senator, who represents parts of Oakdale, says the Twin Cities has a problem of cars being stolen and sold for scrap metal.
While the budget remains the number one priority this session, I wanted to highlight another important issue I’ve been working on—car theft. Throughout the metro area, we have a problem of cars being stolen and sold for scrap metal. Under current law, if a vehicle is less than six years old the person bringing in the vehicle to be scrapped does not need to present a title. Instead, they sign an affidavit stating they own the car. What is happening all too often now is a vehicle is stolen and scrapped before it is even reported to the police. And at that point, there is nothing the police can do. The car is destroyed and the thieves have run off with their money. We need a better system that will help catch more thieves, which in turn will …
Monday, March 25, 2013
DFL leaders were at Richardson Elementary School in North St. Paul.
DFL lawmakers on Monday visited a District 622 school as they continued their push for state funding for all-day kindergarten. House Speaker Paul Thissen, Majority Leader Erin Murphy and other DFLers were at Richardson Elementary School in North St. Paul, “where all-day kindergarten has helped to raise test scores and narrow the achievement gap,” according to a release. Sen. Chuck Wiger, who represents parts of Oakdale, is co-author of a bill to fund all-day kindergarten programs in Minnesota schools. “This legislation is a significant education investment for our state and provides an important step toward enhancing Minnesota’s commitment to quality education for all children,” he wrote in a January editorial piece on Oakdale Patch. “…
Thursday, March 7, 2013
A column from Sen. Chuck Wiger of District 43.
In 2012, Governor Dayton formed a task force on the prevention of school bullying. Bullying was a problem before 2011, but the Governor’s task force shined a light toward an ongoing problem. Back in 2009, I offered anti-bullying legislation, which passed the House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Tim Pawlenty. This year, however, I’m optimistic we will pass legislation based on the task force’s recommendations from last August. Those recommendations, and the current bill, are a result of months of public testimony and deliberation. The task force recommended a complete overhaul of the limited policy against bullying by repealing current law and implementing new definitions, reporting, training and procedures on bullying. Furthermore…
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The DFLer is serving her first term in the state Senate.
Above is a YouTube video of Sen. Susan Kent, who represents Woodbury and parts of Oakdale, posted Feb. 27. Here's her page on the state Senate's website. Like Patch on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our free newsletter
Thursday, January 17, 2013
As a parent, do you support state funding for all-day kindergarten? Why or why not?
Among the first bills of the 2013 Minnesota Legislative session included one that would provide state funding for school districts to offer all-day kindergarten. Sen. Chuck Wiger, a co-author of a bill, said the funding would provide “an important step toward enhancing Minnesota’s commitment to quality education for all children.” Some school districts in the Twin Cities are already providing all-day kindergarten at an extra or no cost. The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School Board reallocated funding - $1.5 million - to fund a free, all-day kindergarten program for the 2012-13 school year. Although, some questioned the sustainability. In the Osseo School District, some Maple Grove and Plymouth parents have the option to pay to have their …