For more information contact: Leah Patton 651-296-9895
We are well into interim, and there are still a couple of points to cover regarding what we accomplished this last session. In addition, by way of a quick note, special sessions can be costly to the state's taxpayers, so in an effort to keep this cost down, many of my fellow legislators and myself did not take a per diem allowance for the days were in special session. Below are a few more provisions that we were successful in passing this year.
Social Security Income Exemption
I mentioned last week that a significant portion of our seniors will see a tax exemption on their social security income, which will result in $117 million in relief for Minnesota’s senior citizens.
This is accomplished by a tax subtraction that allows people under the following raised thresholds to take the maximum tax subtraction on their social security income.
Again, under this provision, nearly 284,000 senior citizen tax returns (single and married filing jointly) would receive tax reductions; 72,000 of those would no longer pay state income tax on their benefits.
Health and Human Services Reforms
Our health and human services reforms included providing emergency premium aid and increased access by passing a 25% health insurance premium rebate and measures ensuring continued access to doctors for patients receiving life-saving treatment and end-of-life care.
We also worked to lower costs and increase choice in the insurance market by passing a suite of reforms that provided more affordable options for small businesses and their employees, protected consumers from unfair billing practices, and allowed organizations with member owners -- such as farm cooperatives -- to provide health insurance to their members.
I am also happy to say that our Health and Humans Services bill focused on protecting our most vulnerable citizens by accomplishing the following:
In our State Government Finance budget bill, several provisions that addressed the needs of our veterans community were signed into law. These reforms included:
We are so indebted to every man and woman who chooses to serve our nation and protect us at home, and I am pleased these provisions were included in our final budget. Thank you to all of the veterans from our area who came to the Capitol to advocate for our military men and women who have served, and continue to serve.
As I mentioned in last week’s update, my legacy funding and bonding bills requesting funding for the Minnesota Zoo were both included in our budget provisions.
In addition, my bill, HF215, expanding the sales tax exemption for certain non-profits at events from five days to ten days, was also passed along with other tax provisions this session.
It was such a pleasure working alongside people from our community on these issues. I so look forward to hearing from you in these interim months regarding what legislation you think would benefit our community, and carrying bills that were not passed this session into the second year of the biennium.
During the last full day of our legislative special session, Twin Cities Public Television host, Mary Lahammer, interviewed my colleague Rep. John Lesch and myself regarding what it was like to parent young children and have such an erratic work schedule.
Here is a link to this segment on TPT’s Almanac: https://www.facebook.com/tptalmanac/videos/10154306676122493/
Please note that Governor Dayton has signed all of the budget bills we passed during special session.
Just as a quick note, if you would like to meet with me to as any questions or discuss a particular issue, my meetings will be held in-district during these months before next year’s session. Simply use the same contact information for my office below, and we will find a time and place to meet in our community, instead of traveling all the way to Saint Paul!
Keep in Touch
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your comments, questions, and concerns. Email me any time at email@example.com or call 651-296-4306. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills and Twitter at https://twitter.com/annacwills.
Have a wonderful weekend!
State Representative, District 57B
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