Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - In less than a month, DFLers and Republicans will meet in St. Paul to discuss everything from budgets to bills.But Tuesday, political leaders met in Duluth to discuss what the most important issues will be in the upcoming legislative session.
"The governor is really concerned about putting together a budget that funds priorities and investments in Minnesota," Minnesota Department of Revenue Commissioner of Revenue Myron Frans said.
High on the agenda is Gov. Mark Dayton's budget package that includes potential changes for the income, property, sales and corporate income tax base.
"We're looking at ways to try to expand tax base and also at the same time reduce the overall rate so that people pay a lower rate but they pay it in a more even basis," said Frans.
"All of these things are on the table as we try to figure out how we can bring structural stability back to Minnesota," Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL) Duluth said.
Dayton is also hoping lawmakers will spend a lot of time looking at ways to invest in education.
"So the key really is coming up with priorities so that we really address priorities in the education system,” said Frans. “In the long term address the $1.3 billion dollar shift that needs to be paid back.”
On a more local front flood recovery and relief projects are the main priorities for Duluth in the upcoming session.
"To work to make sure especially those homeowners are made whole by the damage that they experienced," Duluth Mayor Don Ness said.
Duluth city officials will push to restore recent cuts in local government aid, funding for public infrastructure and the enactment of a comprehensive jobs bill.
"To give local communities like Duluth new tools, better tools to bring those jobs and create those jobs at a local level,” said Ness.
The legislative session will start the first week of January 2013.