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Spread the Government Love – Give It Back!

On Monday, the Minnesota’s office of Management and Budget (MMB) released its February revenue forecast, which provides information and an outlook for Minnesota’s financial picture. The report projects a surplus of $17.5 billion for the next budget cycle, which begins in July.

Last week, the legislature passed a bill to automatically add inflation to forecast computations. Without that change, the true surplus number is closer to $19 billion.

For well over a year, the number one thing I hear from constituents is that they want us to give the surplus back. An enormous budget surplus should mean enormous relief for Minnesotans.

With folks still feeling their household budgets squeezed by high prices for everything from gas to groceries to energy, we have a responsibility to help. Their hard work built the surplus. Now let’s give it back.

Triumph in Our Own Backyard

We have been blessed with incredibly talented students in our community who have made it to the Minnesota State Tournament in their respective disciplines!

Two Chisago Lakes High School student-athletes represented our community at the State Alpine Skiing Meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota. Elsa Dahl, competed in the girls meet, and Will Hennen, competed in the boys meet, finishing 22nd overall.

This past weekend two student-athletes finished in the top 10 at the Minnesota State Gymnastics Meet. Dakota Esget, from North Branch High School finished 3rd overall, and Ella Rhein, from Chisago Lakes High School finished 9th overall.

Several athletes will compete at the boys and girls Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament this weekend and the Cambridge – Isanti’s Mock Trail team advanced to the state competition held in the Federal U.S. District Court building in St. Paul.

Please join me in congratulating these fantastic students!

Cannabis Bill Should Go Up in Smoke

First, I want to start by saying I have been a supporter of the medical cannabis program. Democrats are pushing their bill to legalize cannabis as a simple bill that gets the government out of people’s lives. As a personal freedom guy, that sounds fine and good. But that is not what their bill is.

In reality, their bill is a 300+ page monster stuffed with rules and regulations. For example, did you know it creates several new bureaucracies, including one called the Division of Social Equity, and that it pushes a Social Equity agenda? (Seriously: a search of the bill returns 41 social equity citations.) Did you know it creates 14 different types of licenses, each with fees and taxes?

This is no simple bill.

We also should be aware of unintended consequences. For example, in 2022 there were more than three times as many pediatric cannabis edible exposures in Minnesota as there were the year prior.

We already know that people who use marijuana have higher rates long-lasting mental disorders, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. We already know marijuana use is especially risky for young people and developing brains, and we know that teenage use has been linked to higher rates of mental health issues, memory and learning problems, lack of focus, and more. Those issues will only get worse with recreational legalization.

More importantly, this legislation will eliminate the medical cannabis program we have now. We have medical professionals with extensive knowledge of safely distributing this product. The alternative is self-administering in whatever forms they have available in the dispensary without assistance in monitoring dosing and effectiveness.

Check Out the Results

Last week my capitol update highlighted a bill banning the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment and other small-engine machinery. I asked if you support these efforts. Over 400 of you responded and here’s what you had to say:

Let’s Connect!

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to contact me with your questions and concerns! I sincerely appreciate hearing from each one of you. Please never hesitate to contact me. Hearing the thoughts and concerns from people of the district helps me be a more effective legislator and allows me to truly represent you! You can send me an email at sen.mark.koran@senate.mn or give me a call at (651) 296-5419. It’s my honor to work for you!