We asked, they answered Steve MurphySen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, just wrapped the 2008 legislative session with other lawmakers at the Capitol. We checked in to get his reaction on the session and a look ahead.
What's the top benefit taxpayers will see from this session?
I think the investment in our roads and bridges. People are going to see much more work being done on our roads, starting with this summer.
What changed from last year, when leaders were unable to reach a global agreement?
When things are fairly grave, we end up all sitting down and swallowing the bitter pill and doing the best we can. I'm almost ecstatic that we reached a final resolve this year. We did the doable instead of the impossible.
What was the session’s biggest shortcoming?
In the tax bill we did provide money on the table for education, but once again we were unable to pass an education bill. It was vetoed. It's too bad. There were some things in there that I think education could have used.
You've spent much of your time and energy the last several years on passing a transportation finance bill. What do you see taking up your time in the near future?
Part of the Senate's job is to provide oversight. We're going to make sure the projects that were passed are going to continue moving forward.
Another thing we're going to work on is highway safety. We're really going to stress these safety items that have gone by the wayside. Those are the things that I'll be focusing on.
What will be the stickiest issue next year?
Trying to get some sort of budget resolution passed. We're still not out of the woods here. We're gonna have a lot of tough decisions next year to make — we will have a deficit again.
What will you be doing with your summers now that you're retired from Xcel Energy?
Kind of looking around for odd jobs. Spend time with the grandson, take a decent honeymoon, do a little fishing.