For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879
Kids are back in school, leaves are already starting to change color and there is a new crispness in the air. Indeed, fall is upon us. I hope this transition has been smooth for you and your family, and for those of you with students, I hope the school year is off to a great start. Here is an update from the State Capitol.
House Bonding Tour
Last week, the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee – of which I am a member – toured the southern part of the state as the process gets underway to craft our 2018 bonding bill. This bill is used to invest in public infrastructure improvements throughout the state. A priority at the top of my list for the bill is $6.5 million in improvements at MSU-Mankato. These include completion of the clinical sciences building, classroom and lab updates, and other deferred maintenance issues across campus. Other proposals include updated water quality infrastructure for the city of Mankato and phase two of the improvements at the Security Hospital in St. Peter. Below are photos from the DNR’s trout hatchery in Lanesboro, and the indoor powerline technology facility at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Jackson. The 2015 bonding bill included funding for this, and it was an honor to participate in the ribbon cutting.
In total, local governments and state agencies are seeking more than $3 billion worth of requests in next year’s bonding bill. Many of these are worthwhile proposals, but when the process concludes, the final bill will likely just be a fraction of that amount. Therefore, it’s important for us to be exceedingly diligent in selecting which projects move forward, and in-person tours of the proposals are an important part of this.
In order to pass a bonding bill, a supermajority vote is required, so such a vote must come with support from both sides of the aisle. With so many demonstrated needs throughout the state, I hope we can again come together to pass a robust, regionally-balanced bill addressing infrastructure concerns throughout the state.
State Fair Poll
Every year at the Minnesota State Fair, the nonpartisan House Public Information Services office conducts a nonscientific opinion poll about issues potentially coming before the Legislature. Many are about perennial topics at the State Capitol, and others are about more specific proposals.
You can take a look at the questions and the results here. Again, it’s important to note that this survey isn’t scientific, but I believe it provides an interesting barometer into Minnesotans’ thoughts on various issues.
Do you have your own thoughts on any of these questions? Feel free to share them with me.
School Supplies are Tax Deductible
With school back in session, this means the purchasing of school supplies, a cost that can add up rather quickly. Luckily, there is a tax benefit available for parents of K-12 students toward most of these supplies. Parents should remember to save receipts for these purchases to claim the tax credit or subtraction on their 2017 state income tax return. The Minnesota Department of Revenue has more information available here.
If you have students in your family, I hope you will provide the encouragement they need to meet their full potential, reaching goals and achieving at a high level in the classroom and in all of their endeavors including athletics, arts, or other activities both in school and in the community.
As always I hope you will keep in touch with your ideas and viewpoints, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of assistance.
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