By Sen. Sean Nienow
On Jan. 8 I was sworn in as state senator serving District 32, Isanti and Chisago Counties. It is an honor and a privilege to represent the good people of our wonderful communities in Isanti and Chisago and I look forward to the next four years and the opportunity to bring your voice to the Minnesota Legislature.
Over the last two years the Legislature made good progress in managing the states checkbook. When I took office the state was facing problems left by the previous legislature which had overextended state spending leaving Minnesota with a projected $6.2 billion deficit. When the two-year legislative cycle ended we had turned that deficit into a $1.2 billion surplus according to Governor Dayton’s budget department. It was good progress and I am optimistic that we can continue in the right direction. The state budget will be a priority for many of us in this session again. Future budgets in the outlying years are predicted to be stable and balanced, but this upcoming budget does have a projected deficit. I will work to ensure the legislature passes a reasonable, responsible and balanced budget.
The election last November resulted in a situation where the Minnesota Senate, House of Representatives and Governorship are all under the control of the Democrat Party. This will make it difficult for the normal and healthy debate of ideas and the balance of power that tempers the extremes from swinging the pendulum too far in either direction. Nonetheless, I am optimistic that there will be bi-partisan efforts to do what is right for the people of Minnesota. You have my commitment to bring your concerns and ideas to that debate and work for results that keep us moving forward to financial stability as a state and opportunities for Minnesotan’s to live high quality lives.