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State Representative Anna Wills

491 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4306

For more information contact: Leah Patton 651-296-9895

Posted: 2016-05-18
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Legislative Update

News from Rep. Anna Wills 5-18-2016


Hello Friends,
 
Since we are in our last week of session, I thought it would be a good idea to provide you with a mid-week update.
 
 
REAL ID
On Monday, May 17th, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation to address the REAL ID issue. The bill allows for two different options for people getting a new ID.
 
The first option is the federally compliant REAL ID, which would be an acceptable form of identification to board a domestic flight, or enter federal facilities. The second option for individuals would be a federally non-compliant ID that is identical to our current driver's licenses. The second option would not allow individuals to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities due to federal enforcement of REAL ID standards, but it would offer an option for individuals who prefer to not have a REAL ID. Those with a non-complaint ID could use a passport to board flights or enter federal facilities.
 
This measure ensures that the security goals behind federal REAL ID standards are met, making it very difficult for a terrorist to gain access to a military base or board a domestic flight using a fake ID card, and perpetrate an attack. I believe the House's approach best serves all Minnesotans. There are a few key differences between the House language and the Senate's REAL ID proposal; I hope that the House measures remain intact after the conference committee debate.
 
The essential differences between the federally compliant ID and the non-compliant ID (our current license) are as follows:
 
 

 
 
Please note that the "SAVE" system listen under the "data verified section" refers to the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system.
 
This bill is now waiting for debate with the Senate in a joint conference committee.
 
 
House Budget Targets
On Tuesday, the House announced our proposed joint budget targets, which are shown in the following table:

House Republican Majority Joint Target Compromise - May 17, 2016

 

 

Fiscal Year 2017

Fiscal 2018-19

Tax Relief

$450 million

$500 million

Roads and Bridges

$300 million

$550 million

Supplemental Budget

$65 million

$100 million

Bonding (debt service)

$20 million

$0

Health Care Access Fund

$0

$0

Bottom Line

$65 million

$8 million

TOTAL

$900 million

$1.158 billion

 
 
I go into more detail regarding the House transportation and bonding proposals below.
 
You can also use this link to watch yesterday’s press conference in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfZvBO5hsNw&feature=youtu.be
 
 
House Transportation Counter-Offer
On Tuesday, May 17th, the House announced our transportation compromise, to counter Governor Dayton’s proposal that he presented on Monday.
Our caucus proposed that we separate road and bridge funding from transit funding. House and Senate leadership, and Governor Dayton, have all stated publicly that road and bridge funding is their top priority. The House hopes that we can work on what we agree on (building and repairing our roads and bridges), and deal with transit as a separate issue.
Our funding proposal adds up to a $600 million investment in roads and bridges each year, for the next ten years. The different funding mechanisms are as follows:
 
-$200 million in trunk highway bonds
-$300 million in rededicated sales tax revenue from car rentals and car parts
-$100 million in revenue coming from restructuring the car tab depreciation timeline
 
A key thing to note when talking about the car tab revenue in our plan is that no one would pay more on the current car tabs, and approximately 50% of cars on the road would pay less, and there is a fail-safe to insure that people don’t pay any more next year on their current car than they did this year under the new rubric. When registering a new car, some people may see as slight increase in tab fees.
The two plans Governor Dayton presented on Monday included significant increases in tab fees, meaning people would see an increase of up to 90% in their tab fees from year to year.
Another important thing to note is that one of the Governor’s proposals did not include a gas tax. This is the first time the Governor has presented a proposal not including a gas tax, even though that plan included a huge increase in tab fees.
Earlier today, Senate leadership refused to separate transit from road and bridge funding, which seems to contradict their previous assertion that roads and bridges are their top priority. While our House caucus supports transit funding for buses and different forms of flexible and more cost-effective transit, the sticking point between the House Republicans, and Governor Dayton and the Senate Democratic Majority, is Light Rail. Light Rail has proven itself to be a bad investment, and our members are working hard to find a compromise that best serves the majority of Minnesotans. I will keep you updated on this issue as new information comes in.
 
 
House Bonding Proposal
Today, the House Capital Investment Committee presented it’s bonding proposal. Our bill includes $800 million in infrastructure projects throughout Minnesota, which is within our means as a state to pay back with our current annual debt service.
 
The House’s bonding proposal includes $4 million in asset preservation for the Minnesota Zoo. Unfortunately, the proposal does not include funding for the Highway 52/County Road 42 interchange project or the Mississippi River Regional Trail Railroad Safety project. I am hopeful that these provisions will be included in the final version of the bonding bill once it comes back from conference committee with the Senate.
 
 
Uponor Ribbon-Cutting
On Monday, May 16th, I had the pleasure of attending a ribbon-cutting for Uponor North American’s ninth expansion in Apple Valley. Uponor is a leading provider of plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating/cooling, hydronic and pre-insulated piping systems. Uponor is a major employer in our community and they are currently hiring. If you are interested in working for Uponor, you can see their open positions and apply at www.uponor-use.com/careers!