For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
The Minnesota House adjourned Sunday evening and officially concluded the 2016 legislative session. The House and Senate passed a number of bills in the last few days of session including an extensive tax relief bill that contains more than half a billion in ongoing and permanent tax cuts.
House Republicans fought for a number of important provisions in the bill including a first-in-the nation student loan tax credit, an expansion of the child care tax credit, tax deductions and credits for families contributing to a 529 Savings Plan and significant property tax relief for businesses.
Also included in a supplemental budget bill, separate from the tax bill, are three more important tax relief provisions including the exemption of military veteran pensions from state income tax for 18,000 Minnesota veterans, an additional Angel Investor Tax Credit to encourage investments in Minnesota businesses and a tax credit for parents of still-born children.
Minnesota taxpayers helped create a $900 million surplus, and it is only fair that they receive substantial tax relief. I am hopeful Governor Dayton will soon sign these bills.
While tax relief did get done this year, however, transportation and bonding stalled due to a political stunt by Senate Democrats who inserted a controversial provision to fund the Southwest Light Rail line at the very last moments of session. The bonding and transportation bill passed the House on a strong bipartisan vote of 91 to 39, and there was an agreement with Senate leaders that the bill would pass the Senate in similar fashion. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The bill had $696.5 million in funding for roads and bridges and also included funding for higher education asset preservation and critical water infrastructure projects statewide.
One project for our community in the bill was funding for the Interstate 94 and Brockton Lane Interchange. I have been an advocate for this project for many years. Constructing a full access point and auxiliary lanes just east of the existing Highway 101 overpass on I-94 will help alleviate congestion, ease local commutes and create an exit on one of the longest stretches of freeway without an exit in the metro. Other key statewide transportation projects in the bill include Highway 23, Highway 14, Highway 10 and highway 35W, and I am disappointed that the Senate blocked these vital improvements.
House Republican leadership has requested that Governor Dayton call a special session soon to allow the House and Senate to pass the transportation bonding bill that had been agreed upon on the last night of session. Stay tuned for more information as talks between me, the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader and Governor Dayton continue.
Overall, I am proud of the bipartisan work we accomplished over the past two years from substantial tax relief for families to historic investments in our students and schools. It is an honor to represent the people and priorities of the Northwest suburbs at the Capitol.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the last Peppin's MinnTriv quiz!
"The Tilt-a-Whirl was invented by Herbert W. Sellner from Faribault, MN" was the answer to last week's three-part question: What amusement park ride was invented in Minnesota in 1926? Who was the inventor and where was he from?
Congratulations to Corry Gunderson from Rogers who had the first correct response!
Here is this week's question: In 1913, a 38,000 square foot home was built in Minneapolis that was made famous for two reasons. Who owned the home, and why was the home famous?
Reply to this email with your answer, and I'll share the winner of the Peppin MinnTriv question in my legislative update next week.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns on an issue relating to state government, my office is available to help. My direct line is 651-296-7806. My email address is email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 459 State Office Building, 100 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.
Have a wonderful week,
**Encourage your neighbors and friends to sign up for my email updates at www.house.mn/34A