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State Representative Cindy Pugh

411 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4315

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

Posted: 2016-06-07
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update (June 7th, 2016)


Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Yesterday was the deadline for Governor Dayton to sign or veto the 2016 tax bill. The bill passed with the support of 89 percent of the legislature, passing 123-10 in the House and 55-12 in the Senate.

At a press conference Monday morning, I joined my Republican colleagues to call on Governor Dayton to sign this tax bill into Law. Constituents and Korean War veterans Wayne and Wendell Carrier of Mound, MN, joined me and spoke in favor of the bill, citing the $13 million in tax relief for Minnesota veterans and challenges facing seniors living on fixed incomes.

 

Unfortunately, the Governor ‘pocket-vetoed’ this bill last night, meaning midnight came and went with the bill still sitting on the Governor’s desk without his signature.

The bill included $800 million in middle-class tax relief over a three year period, $500 million of which would be permanent or ongoing. Provisions included:

•$90.6 million in tax relief for Minnesota farmers.
•$110 million in tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans
•$49 million in tax relief for families who contribute to 529 plans to save for their children's college costs.
•$146 million in tax relief for every small business in Minnesota
•$13 million in tax relief for Minnesota veterans
•$150 million in tax relief for working families by expanding the working family tax credit.
•$32 million to reduce the cost of childcare by expanding the childcare tax credit
•Federal conformity provisions that allow Minnesotans to deduct higher education tuition expenses, mortgage insurance premiums, classroom expenses for teachers, charitable giving (for seniors), and more.

The Governor vetoed the bill citing a small drafting error and requested the legislature restore a small sales tax exemption. House Republicans had agreed to make these changes immediately in a special session.

I am profoundly disappointed that the Governor just vetoed the most bipartisan tax bill in 30 years. We can only conclude that he is holding significant tax relief for middle-class families hostage in exchange for an astronomical list of spending demands. I cannot believe Governor Dayton wasn't willing to sign a tax bill that almost 90% of the legislature supported, even after House Republicans immediately agreed to make the two tax-specific changes he requested. I was hopeful the Governor would remain true to his word to not hold the tax bill hostage to his demands for increased spending in the bonding bill. Sadly, it has become crystal clear that Governor Dayton chose to leverage the power vested in the executive branch at the expense of hard-working, over-taxed Minnesotans.

As always, I greatly appreciate hearing from you and welcome your feedback on this important matter.

In addition, if you have the time or inclination, please feel free to contact the Governor's Office as well to share your thoughts regarding his veto of this legislation.

You can call his office at 651-201-3400, or toll free 800-657-3717. You can also email your comments to the Governor by clicking here. Please be respectful in any comments you make; thank you.

Once again, it is an honor and privilege to serve you and your family in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

 

Sincerely,

Cindy Pugh

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