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Committee schedules are picking up steam at the Capitol as session gets busier and busier. So far we have not stayed late for long debates on any bills, but I am sure that will come soon enough. The Governor delivered his State of the State address Monday and presented his proposed state budget Tuesday.
I am really thankful that the Governor proposed adding 2% each year to the per-pupil education formula for the next 2 years. This is something our students and schools really need and I will be supporting this funding increase. The budget also includes an additional $4 million to support mental health in our schools with the Support our Students initiative.
On Thursday we passed an agreement to provide health care premium relief. I am pleased that we found agreement similar to Governor Dayton’s plan. The proposal will provide a 25% rebate to the 125,000 Minnesotans in the individual market.
There is some other good news in St Paul. We already passed a tax conformity bill that streamlines Minnesota tax code making it simpler for residents to file their taxes. It also included $21.7 million in tax cuts for 220,000 Minnesotans.
The state also entered into an agreement with the federal government to dedicate millions of dollars to protect the environment. The agreement secures $350 million in federal funding to protect and improve waters in 60,000 acres across 54 Minnesota counties. I was very proud to be at the signing.
Did you miss something at the Capitol this week? Catch up with House Public Information’s week in review by clicking here.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the legislative session.
Leon M. Lillie
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