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State Representative Paul Thissen

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Posted: Mar 31 2014 2:08PM
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House DFL sends supplemental budget bill to the floor


Priorities build on Minnesota’s economic progress with focus on middle class tax cuts and critical investments in education, job creation, and care for seniors

Saint Paul, Minnesota – Fresh off the success of passing tax cuts for more than one million Minnesotans, House Democrats passed their House supplemental budget bill in the Ways and Means committee today, teeing up a vote for the full House on Thursday.

Minnesota’s growing economy and strong budget passed in 2013 created a $1.2 billion budget surplus. The legislature has moved quickly to utilize about half of that surplus already, approving $443 million in tax cuts and directing $150 million to bolster the state’s budget reserve.

The House is building on that progress with a supplemental budget that puts middle class families, students and seniors ahead of wealthy special interests. Highlights of the supplemental budget include:

  • Statewide investments to strengthen Greater Minnesota through broadband investments and economic development resources.
  • Education investments that build on the 2013 “education session.”
  • Funding for home and community based health care workers who provide care for the elderly and disabled.
  • Critical transportation funding to repair potholes and make investments in highways, roads and bridges.

“This session we have already cut taxes for more than one million Minnesotans, but we aren’t done pushing for more ways to expand economic opportunity to more Minnesotans,” said Speaker Paul Thissen. “Rather than cater to wealthy special interests, we are pursuing a budget that will grow our economy from the middle-out while investing in bread-and-butter priorities to create more jobs and economic opportunity.”

House DFL Supplemental Budget

Job Creation: Bonding and Jobs and Economic Development - $170

  • Provide debt-service for $850 million in GO bonds for a bonding bill that improves infrastructure and creates jobs throughout the state and boost bonding bill with $125 million for additional critical statewide investments.
  • Build a Greater Minnesota through targeted investments that address economic challenges confronting Greater Minnesota:
    • Invest $25 million in broadband access in Greater Minnesota.
    • Provide $10 million in economic development resources to support rural job growth and the business sectors critical to rural economies.

Seniors & Caregivers - $91 million

  • Provide an additional 5 percent increase for home and community-based health care workers who provide care for the elderly and disabled.
  • Increase funding for rural nursing homes and provide additional investments in senior nutrition.

Education - $92 million

  • Provide a funding increase for K-12 schools to help address the costs of teacher evaluations and to further improve education outcomes.
  • Provide more Minnesota children with access to affordable, high-quality early learning opportunities.
  • Fully fund reduced price for school lunches to ensure no Minnesota child is turned away in the lunch line (passed off House floor).   
  • Invest in our higher education institutions to improve students’ access to an affordable college education.

Transportation - $50 million

  • Provide $15 million to help local governments throughout the state address the need to repair potholes after the worst winter in recent memory.
  • Build on progress last session with further investment in “Corridors of Commerce” funding for statewide highway repairs. 

Tomorrow, the House Ways and Means Committee will take action on a second tax bill, another key component of the House budget plan. “Tax Bill 2” will include $103 million in additional tax cuts for homeowners, renters, farmers and small businesses:

  • Farmers: Provides $18 million in property tax relief to more than 90,000 homesteaded farms. An average family farmer in Minnesota will see $460 in property tax relief. 
  • Homeowners: Provides $12 million for a one-time increase for all Homestead Credit Refunds paid in 2014. Each homeowner receiving a refund will see a 3% increase, providing further property tax relief to 500,000 Minnesota homeowners.
  • Renters: Provides $12.5 million for a one-time increase for all Renters’ Credit Refunds paid in 2014. Each renter receiving a refund will see a 6% increase, providing property tax relief to 350,000 Minnesota renters.
  • Businesses: Provides a property tax cut for small businesses with property value less than $1.1 million. The bill also includes sales tax reforms that provide additional sales tax relief to small businesses.

The House could take action on the second tax bill as soon as this Friday.

House DFL Budget Priorities By The Numbers

ALREADY PASSED:

$443 million in middle-class and business tax cuts for more than one million Minnesotans

$150 million increase in state budget reserve

HOUSE SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET & TAX BILL 2

$103 million in additional tax cuts for homeowners, renters, farmers and businesses. ($443 million in middle-class and business tax cuts already approved)

$170 million in targeted investments in job creation and bonding

$92 million in targeted investments in education

$91 million in HHS funding, primarily for caregivers and nursing homes 

$50 million in transportation funding

$36 million in public safety

$16 million in environment and natural resources & agriculture

$31 million left on bottom-line ($150 million already dedicated to the budget reserve)

$515 million surplus projected for our next budget cycle in FY 16-17.

 

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