Early Friday morning Senate Republicans led Minnesota to a successful end of the legislative session, delivering on earlier promises to reverse years of gridlock and balancing the budget with responsible spending to strengthen Minnesota’s economy, education, and infrastructure. The new majority accomplished the advancing Minnesota agenda put forth in February, which includes comprehensive tax relief, significant statewide transportation investments, and education funding increases.
The 2017 legislative session is one of the most productive in recent history. Republicans delivered the largest tax relief package in nearly two decades, providing $648 million in relief to all taxpayers with special emphasis on farmers, students, and seniors.
The $300 million transportation bill is the first serious investment in roads and bridges in nearly ten years, and a $1.3 billion-dollar increase in K-12 funding will expand opportunities for students across the state. With these priorities finally addressed, Minnesota families will notice a positive impact in their communities and everyday life.
Freshman Senator Mark Koran (R-North Branch) played a key role in budget negotiations for the final State Government omnibus bill. He served on the conference committee to help reign in the bureaucracy and curb state spending. As Vice Chair of the Senate State Government Committee, he helped lead efforts to bring about transparency and accountability in government.
Sen. Koran released the following statement after the historic adjournment of a busy five-month session:
“I was elected to advocate for government transparency, accountability, and efficiency. My actions throughout this session reflect that commitment, and I was proud to represent the strong, conservative values of District 32 in each and every vote,” said Sen. Koran.
“Under new leadership, we accomplished a balanced budget nearly on time, renewed emphasis on greater Minnesota, and passed responsible legislation to clean up mistakes of the past,” he added. “But most of all, our leaders united our state to get the job done with the integrity and transparency Minnesotans deserve. I look forward to continuing to serve District 32 and getting back into my community this summer to hear feedback from my constituents.”
Koran gained statewide attention when he questioned Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority officials on their misuse of Vikings Stadium suites after an independent investigation found leaders of the governor-appointed organization were gifting publicly owned tickets to family and friends. The hearing resulted in their resignation and legislation to tighten oversight of the organization.
Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) spoke of Sen. Koran’s contributions to the Senate majority last week:
“Sen. Koran worked hard all session to advocate for faster, more responsible government. His commitment to conservative principles is unrivaled, and we all appreciate his practicality and passion for public service,” said Sen. Gazelka. “The families of District 32 are fortunate to have such a hard-working guy representing their interests in St. Paul.”
Sen. Koran is serving his first term in the Minnesota State Senate representing communities of Chisago and Isanti Counties. He is Vice Chair of the Senate State Government and Elections Finance and Policy Committee and is a member of the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee, Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee, and Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee.