For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Here is an update from the Capitol.
A quick shot from the House Floor during budget bill debates this week
Over the past two weeks, the House has been debating and advancing omnibus budget bills which will fund state government and its essential functions for the next two years. From putting more money into education to providing substantial tax relief, these bills contain a number of important provisions that will benefit Edina families and taxpayers.
Additionally, I think it is important to note that many of these large bills have provisions that I have concerns with, but I supported a majority of the omnibus bills because of the positive provisions and the need to move them forward. As we work with the Senate and Governor Dayton in the coming weeks, my hope is that by the time we reach a final bipartisan compromise, the final bills will be improved upon and have a positive impact on our state and citizens.
Here are some highlights from bills the House advanced:
Last week the House passed a bipartisan tax relief bill that will provide more than $1.35 billion in meaningful tax relief for families, businesses, seniors and college graduates with student loan debt. Tax relief will put more money back in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers who helped fund our state’s surplus, and I hope we can enact significant tax relief this year.
As part of a larger transportation plan, the House passed legislation on Friday that will put $2.1 billion toward our transportation needs in the next two years alone. Roads and bridges are important, but I hope that the final version of the bill includes more funding for transit needs in the metro than is currently included.
The Public Safety bill does a number of great things including dedicating additional funding for sex trafficking prevention, creating stronger penalties and longer supervision for convicted sexual predators and working to help reduce repeat incarcerations for non-violent drug offenders.
You may have seen in the news more about the provision in the bill that will increase the penalty for those protesting on highways. I supported an amendment which failed on the House floor that would have stripped that provision from the bill.
When working on our state’s education budget this year, my priorities are to bring needed funding to our schools and advocate for policies that help our students here in Edina and across the state. The bill passed by the House on Friday includes $1.1 billion in new education spending over last biennium, as well as more than $300 million in targeted investments for early learning programs including scholarships and school readiness aid. There are also a number of reforms in the bill to increase transparency, streamline the teacher licensure process and help keep the best educators in the classroom. My bill that gives Edina students first priority to go to Edina schools is also in the legislation.
While this bill is a good start for when we work with the Senate and Governor Dayton later this session to come to a final compromise, I will be advocating for more education investments and a larger formula increase.
The Higher Education bill works to prioritize college affordability through tuition freezes and reductions, helps Minnesotans struggling with debt through student loan debt counseling, and improves accessibility for students to achieve a higher education.
An all green board for the Legacy bill
Working to protect our water, environment, and parks and trails, as well as fund arts and cultural heritage, the Legacy bill does a number of great things. Included in the bill is over $100 million to restore and protect our water including $30 million for drinking water protections and $22 million to provide aid to counties creating buffers.
The State Government Finance bill reduces government spending, increases transparency, limits FTE growth and works to ensure that our state government is accountable to the taxpayers and citizens it serves.
Job Growth and Energy Affordability
This Job Growth and Energy Affordability Omnibus bill is one of the bills I voted against on the House floor because I believe concerning provisions in the bill outweigh the benefits. Some of the changes to solar policy in the legislation would move our state backward in terms of renewable energy. I also did not support a provision in the bill that takes away local control from city governments to ban the use of plastic bags. My hope is that the bill is improved after conference committee and can gain strong bipartisan support after negotiations. .
The Agriculture bill creates a dedicated Pollinator Habitat and Research account, as well as works to grow and diversify our agro-economy in areas like industrial hemp and biofuels.
For the families and small business owners in Edina facing increasingly unaffordable health insurance options on the individual market, I wanted to let you know that Governor Dayton has allowed the state-based reinsurance bill to become law. This is estimated to reduce premiums by 20 percent or more.
This legislation is about stabilizing our individual market, and making health care more affordable and accessible in Minnesota, and I am glad it moved forward this year.
I welcome you to contact my office at any time to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas about what you would like to see happen this session. Your input is invaluable and helps me better represent the voices and priorities of our community. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4363 or by email at Rep.Dario.Anselmo@House.mn.
It is an honor and privilege to serve as your voice at the Capitol.
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