Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Take our poll; then click on to our Patch stories below to see what legislators and others are saying.
Gov. Mark Dayton this week unveiled a proposed state budget and tax plan that would, among other things, lower Minnesota's sales tax from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent but broaden it to cover more items such as higher-priced clothing, car repairs and other services. In his quest to avoid a projected $1.1 billion revenue shortfall, Dayton said his plan also includes raising the income on some groups of taxpayers (such as the state's 2 percent of highest-income earners). He is proposing to reduce property taxes and cut the corporate tax rate on businesses. (To see a Patch story and UpTake video of Dayton's speech, click on this link.) Bottom line: The governor said he wants to provide property tax relief, boost funding for K-12 education, …
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Gov. Mark Dayton, in his first appearance since having back surgery late last year, will outline his proposed budget for the next two years.
Laying out financial plans for the next two years, and with a Democratic controlled Legislature out in front of him, Gov. Mark Dayton will address both the public and public servants at the Minnesota State Capitol this morning. You can watch streaming video, live, courtesy of the UpTake right here as Dayton will lay out a series of tax hikes, line-item increases and an expected payment shift for Minnesota schools in his address. It's the first public appearance for Dayton since he had back surgery in Rochester, MN last month. Media outlets such as Minnesota Public Radio are saying the budget could have a big impact on Dayton's political future. The first-term governor has not hinted whether or not he will run again for the state's top seat…
Friday, January 4, 2013
With so many challenges on the table, Patch wants to know what issues you think are most important.
With another legislative session just around the corner, senators and representatives have no shortage of challenges ahead of them. Lawmakers plan to convene hearings on gun control in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. They’ll review a recommendation from a governor-appointed task force to increase gas taxes and tab fees in response to a projected $50 billion shortfall in transportation funding. The DFL majority and defeat of the marriage amendment in the 2012 election could even prompt the Legislature to take up the issue of gay marriage. And looming over everything is a projected $1.1 billion deficit that legislators will have to close before adjourning for the year. With so many issues on the …
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The council discussed new tactics in the city's deer population management plan and preliminary budget talks at Tuesday's meeting
Deer hunting-related issues dominated the discussion at what ended up being an unusually quick and problem-free meeting of the Mendota Heights' City Council on Tuesday night. Having been unable to attend the last meeting as was previous scheduled, Police Chief Mike Aschenbrener was in attendance to discuss what he called the offer the “one option considered to be the best option” to help curtail the area’s rising deer population. Aschenbrener proposed expanding the amount of city-owned public property that deer hunting would be allowed in during the designated hunting periods, a suggestion that Aschenbrener assured wouldn’t be akin to “hunting over a youth athletic field.” In addition to expanding the amount of viable public deer hunting …
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School Board has set spending and cuts for the 2012-2013 school year.
The West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School Board unanimously approved a 2012-2013 budget Monday night. The budgeting process this year has been relatively smooth compared to the upheaval experienced by the district last year. Treasurer Pat Barnum described this year’s budget process compared to last year’s as the difference between “spending carefully” this year and “looking for cuts” last year. Overall spending in the district among all funds will increase by almost $2 million, or 3 percent. (See budget documents in attached PDF.) New additions to the general fund budget of $708,625 are offset by reductions of about $1.2 million. The reductions include administrative restructuring at the district office and elimination of an …
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Many of the recommendations reflect parent, community feedback, says administration.
The West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District administration presented budget adjustments Monday night for 2012-2013 that will incorporate feedback from recent stakeholder groups. Since the district’s tumultuous budget process in 2011-2012, the district has followed through with a Strategic Redesign Advisory Committee to examine opportunities for cost savings and greater achievement. More recently, a music task force came forward with recommendations to strengthen music education programs. The district faces a drastically improved revenue picture, due predominantly to the successful referendum last November, a $50 per pupil increase on the state funding formula and increased enrollment. Revenue for operating budgets is projected …
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The Feb. 6 meeting of the District 197 School Board, in brief.
A number of issues developing at the state Capitol may be worthy of the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School Board's attention, according to a report by Interim Superintendent Tom Nelson given at Monday night's board meeting. Nelson, a legislator himself in the years '77-'86, said that in a non-budget year, the goal is to “do no harm.” Funding issues he said worthy of attention include how integration programs are to be funded and whether a district’s referendum dollars should follow a student attending a charter school. Nelson said a number of issues fall under the category of local control: Two issues related to teacher contracts include a bill to consider both seniority and teacher evaluations when determining budget layoffs, or…
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The Strategic Redesign Committee's final report offers a wide range of recommendations for improving the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District's educational offerings and financial outlook.
More online learning, additional opportunities for college credit and switching to cloud computing are just a few of the redesign opportunities put forward this month by a report for the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District. The final report from the 43-person Strategic Redesign Advisory Committee was presented to the school board Tuesday night. The committee was designed last summer to research ways to both reduce the cost of education in the district and improve the quality of learning for students. Three categories—personalized learning, expanding the educational portfolio, reducing costs and increasing revenue—resulted in 17 different recommendations within those categories for the board to consider. Evaluating …
Thursday, December 15, 2011
A committee tasked with recommending changes to District 197's music program has been talking about staffing and budget issues.
A committee of District 197 parents, staff and faculty met for the second time Nov. 29 to work toward a series of recommendations for the district’s music program. The district’s music program faced a number of challenges in the most recent budget cycle—music class time was shortened in elementary schools, the Henry Sibley choir director faced cuts and relocation to the elementary schools, Sibley's band teacher's hours were reduced and most recently, that teacher left the classroom and will be retiring officially in August. Tom Nelson, the district’s interim superintendent who put together the committee, said that if the committee’s recommendations require funding allocations, the school board will work to shuffle funds during its budget …
Monday, December 12, 2011
Meeting begins at 4:30 p.m., and the Truth in Taxation hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Lilydale City Council is scheduled to meet 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12 at Lilydale City Hall. The agenda includes an introduction of the new city administrator, Mary Schultz. At 6 p.m., a Truth in Taxation hearing is planned to go over the proposed budget and levy, which is set to be approved following the hearing. A reception at Sunfish Cellars after the meeting is planned to say goodbye to City Administrator Teish Stafne, who is moving to Iowa in the spring. See the full agenda in the attached PDF.