DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

* Rep. Yvonne Selcer *

Yvonne SelcerDear Friends,

Special Session

Unfortunately, legislative leaders and Governor Dayton were not able to reach a budget compromise on time and there will be a special session. Currently, legislative leaders Daudt and Bakk are meeting with the Governor to negotiate a final agreement. I am extremely disappointed that the legislature did not finish on time. I am hopeful that a bipartisan agreement is struck soon so that a brief special session may take place to resolve any unfinished business.

During the special session, I will not be taking per diem and I will urge my colleagues to follow suit. The people of Minnesota expect the legislature to finish its work on time and with a $2 billion surplus, there is little reason to need a special session.

Vacancies in State Boards, Councils & Committees

I want to pass along information on vacancies in State Boards, Councils & Committees that I recently received from the Secretary of State’s office. These are great avenues for citizen involvement in our government and I encourage you to get involved! (more…)

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Yvonne Selcer copy 2As we finish up our work in St. Paul, I certainly hope that more progress can be made for our students. As you may recall, our schools faced deep budget cuts during the last decade, when we had a budget deficit for 8 out of the last 10 years. In 2013, the budget was balanced into the future and we now have a projected $1.9 billion surplus. Yet, the proposed House Majority education budget increases school funding by just .6 percent —a number that school officials have warned will cause hundreds of teacher layoffs in the metro area and increase class sizes.

With a significant budget surplus, we must strike a better balance between investing in education, transportation and other priorities to strengthen our economy, and providing a suitable business and tax environment. I am extremely disappointed that the House majority is insisting on providing permanent tax relief to owners of the biggest corporations in our state — many of whom don’t even live in Minnesota — at the expense of our students and their future.

With time running out before the Legislature adjourns May 18, I hope that our legislative leaders will find more compromise to ensure that our students are made a priority for the next two years. For my part, I will continue working to ensure that we can strike a bipartisan balance that ensures our schools remain strong and that our students have world-class opportunities.

Rep. Yvonne Selcer, HD48A
Eden Prairie News, May 15, 2015

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Yvonne_SelcerDear Neighbor,

We have been hearing many budget bills on the House floor recently, and will continue to pass pieces of the budget this week. I want to provide you with a brief update of each piece of legislation.

E-12 Education

With a $2 billion surplus, investing in education should be one of our top priorities. Unfortunately, the House majority has brought forward an education budget that increasing education funding by less than a 1 percent. We have heard from districts across the metro that class sizes will grow and teachers will be laid off as a result. I spoke about this issue Saturday on the House floor, when the bill was passed. To watch my speech and hear more, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COlcg_BRHKw.

Civic and business leaders agree that Minnesota is a great place to live and work because we have one the best educational systems. But it won’t stay that way if we can’t provide schools funding at times when the economy is strong, especially after years of cuts and budget shifts. It is my hope that a more reasonable and sustainable proposal comes back from conference committee.  I am happy to report that there are some good provisions in the education bill, such as increased investment in early childhood education and concurrent enrollment opportunities for our high school students so they can earn post-secondary credits while in high school.  Hopefully we can build on these bipartisan investments in conference committee.

Public Safety

The legislature was able to work productively this session in the area of public safety and crime prevention. The resulting bill includes $250,000 to combat terrorism in Minnesota, stemming from the recent ISIL recruit arrests. The bill also includes additional resources to combat human trafficking and child abuse. I supported this bipartisan bill.

State Government Finance

The state government bill was passed on Friday, which unfortunately shifts millions out of pension funds, creates unfunded burdens and eliminates limits on campaign spending and contributions from PACs and lobbyists. This provision is especially troubling to me, as I believe we need more disclosure and less outside spending in our elections.

Environment & Natural Resources

On Friday, we also passed the environment and natural resources bill. I voted against this proposal because I felt that it threatened Minnesota’s clean water and breathable air, as well as the accounting shifts and gimmicks included. The environment bill shifts nearly $60 million out of the fund we use to clean up closed landfills, takes money from the school trust, and gives up on fighting aquatic invasive species by cutting millions from prevention efforts.  I have concerns about the funding shifts in this bill and the troubling trend of this accounting in the House majority’s budget.

Higher Education

Monday, the House passed the higher education on a nearly party line vote. This bill reverses the tuition freeze currently in place for all Minnesota students at public colleges and universities and will increase the costs of higher education for students and parents.  There is absolutely no funding included to help our University of MN students with skyrocketing tuition. With a budget surplus, I think we should prioritize student debt and tuition relief for students and their families.


Unfortunately, the transportation bill raids some funds the Minnesota Department of Transportation holds in reserves for emergencies, such as harsh winters or natural disasters.  There is also a great deal of shifting of funds and borrowing used to fund various transportation needs.  We need to have a serious discussion about which additional funding streams we may want to dedicate out of the general fund to transportation, and how we will handle that additional strain on the general fund, which funds education and health care, during the next inevitable economic downturn. I have serious concerns with this funding and voted against the proposal.

Jobs & Energy

Last Thursday, the jobs and energy bill was passed. Provisions within the bill will stop us from repaying loans we took out under Governor Pawlenty. We should be using our budget surplus to invest and ensure sound budgeting into the future. I voted against this proposal.

Health & Human Services

The health and human services bill will cut state health funding by $1.152 billion and eliminate MinnesotaCare, which will cause 100,000 low-income, working Minnesotans to lose their health insurance. The bill includes many accounting shifts and gimmicks, including $300 million in savings that our House nonpartisan research staff has said will only amount to an estimated $17 million. For these reasons, I voted against the bill.

I voted against many of these budget bills due to insufficient, unstable funding and budgetary tricks and gimmicks. With a surplus, we should be making strategic investments to ensure a prosperous economic future for businesses and families. While there were some good provisions in these pieces of legislation, I am hopeful that the final budget proposal includes more balance and sound budgeting and will garner bipartisan support.

As always, please contact me anytime with your input.  I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-3964 or by email at . Thank you for the honor of representing you at the State Capitol.


 Selcer Signature

Yvonne Selcer
State Representative

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Yvonne Selcer copy 2Jon Tevlin with the StarTribune wrote a column in the April 29, 2015, issue of that paper discussing a floor discussion on an amendment to the omnibus job growth and energy affordability finance bill.

The evening of April 28, 2015, the Minnesota House debated the above GOP-crafted bill that has many things in it that are of the “drill, baby, drill” mentality. Rep. Melissa Hortman offered an amendment that stated the Legislature believes climate change is happening and human activity is one of the causes because “she said that 97% of scientists agreed on the issue, and cited increasingly hotter weather patterns, and drought and flooding across the state that has cost more than $400 million.”

The ensuing Republican scramble sounds like it was quite entertaining and frightening at the same time.  We’ve provided a link to this article below, so you can get the full impact yourself.

Here’s a quote:

“Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, presented a fascinating, if largely unintelligible, theory on the Ice Age: that the Earth warmed itself without combustion machines, so the Earth is at fault for current warming. I think that’s what he said.

To which Rep. Yvonne Selcer, DFL-Minnetonka, responded: “I know Will Steger.”

(Again, let’s have Bolstad respond to Lucero: “There have been several global warming and cooling epochs in Earth’s history, and we have a very good idea of the cause for most past events. None of them are causes of the current warming. This argument is like saying we should keep letting the kids play with matches, because we’ve had fires before from lots of different causes.”)”

Thank you, Rep. Selcer, for standing up for our environment and the validity of science.

Here’s a link to Mr. Tevlin’s column.



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