For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Speaking at the MinneMinds Rally this week
Reading to kids at the Capitol on Monday
Speaking to the press about legislation to encourage kids to explore vocational careers
With Eden Prairie constituents Carrie Clark and her daughter Greta, along with others at the Capitol for Chiropractor Day
With James Wallrich and Elizabeth Mohr, Eden Prairie college students who were at the Capitol for Private College Day. James attends St. Thomas and Elizabeth attends Concordia.
With constituents in Saint Paul for Catholics at the Capitol day this week
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update on recent actions and notable events happening at the Capitol.
HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS UPDATE:
Sunday Sales Signed into Law
Addressing the House before they voted to send House File 30 to Governor Dayton
Starting July 2, 2017, Minnesotans will be able to purchase wine, beer and liquor on Sundays. My bill to authorize liquor stores to be open on Sundays passed both the House and Senate and has been signed into law by Governor Dayton.
Under the new law, liquor stores will have the option to be open on Sundays and can be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This is an issue that has grown in popularity over the years among business owners and consumers. Thank you to the thousands of Minnesotans who advocated for this change, made their voices heard and called their legislators in support of this change. You are the reason this initiative became law.
On February 28th, Minnesota Management and Budget released the February economic forecast which state lawmakers will use to craft a budget for Fiscal Years 2018-19. The state’s surplus for the upcoming biennium is $1.65 billion, up from $1.4 billion in November. This positive budget outlook continues into Fiscal Years 2020-21.
The $250 million in increased surplus funds come primarily from greater-than-expected revenue from individual income taxes, the general sales tax, and the corporate franchise tax. MMB budget documents note that an improved U.S. economic outlook and positive numbers for key economic data points such as personal income growth, employment, and consumer spending have contributed to the additional surplus revenue.
With this surplus, one of my priorities this session will be passing a tax relief package that returns money to families, small businesses and the hardworking taxpayers of Eden Prairie. Additionally, as committees begin crafting omnibus bills, I would like to see the legislature advance a responsible state budget that invests in our shared priorities like education and transportation, while finding ways to limit government growth and make it more efficient, effective and accountable to the people of Minnesota.
Budget targets are expected to be released in the coming week as legislators continue work on the 2018-2019 biennial budget. I will keep you updated as more news becomes available.
This week, the House passed my bill, HF 444, unanimously to make technical changes to the MNvest program that I authored and successfully got signed into law last biennium. MNvest is a crowdfunding avenue for Minnesota businesses to raise capital online from Minnesota investors. Since passage of the law authorizing MNvest, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new regulations, and HF 444 provides clarifying technical changes to conform to those federal requirements.
MNvest is a great tool to help start-ups raise capital, and it also provides an opportunity for Minnesotans to invest in businesses they support, obtaining an equity stake in the business for their investment.
Reform of Board Governing Vikings Stadium
On Monday, the House passed legislation aimed at increasing oversight and accountability of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) following the recent news and a report by the Legislative Auditor that taxpayer-funded suite seats were being given away to MSFA board members’ families. The bill (House File 778) reforms the structure of the board and limits the use of these suites at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Controversy continues as it was reported on Sunday in the Star Tribune that former MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen skipped to the front of the line to buy seat licenses and season tickets for the Vikings. This sort of unethical behavior by the MSFA, and misuse of taxpayer dollars, needs to come to an end. I am hopeful for swift action by the Senate and for the governor’s signature on the bill.
My 2017 legislative survey is still available to take online, so if you haven’t shared your thoughts yet, I hope you will take a few moments to do so. Surveying Eden Prairie residents about their priorities for state government provides invaluable feedback and helps me better represent our community at the Capitol.
The link to my survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Loon2017
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me!
If I can be of assistance to you with a state government matter, please feel free to contact me. I always welcome your views, questions and suggestions on issues of interest or concern. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call my office at 651-296-7449. I look forward to hearing from you!
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