For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
It is only the second week of the 2012 legislative session and it already feels like we are at the midway point. We are working hard to get as much done as possible and should have bills on the governorís desk by the end of the week.
I am having bills drafted that work on reforming the Metropolitan Council. This quasi-government agency is a thorn in the side of many metro cities and counties. The bills being drafted will give long overdue accountability and transparency to the Met Council.
This week the Minnesota Senate had the courage to reject the appointment of former DFL state Senator Ellen Anderson by Governor Dayton. Anderson's extreme views on jobs and energy matters have cost state taxpayers money and make her ineligible to regulate energy and telecommunications matters. As a senator she has hurt Minnesota job creators and businesses.
Governor Dayton, who was well aware lasts year that this appointment would be rejected, immediately reacted in the media by acting surprised and appalled. This political display was disingenuous and unbecoming of a governor.
Precinct caucuses will take place across Minnesota on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and I urge you to attend and have an impact at the grassroots level.
These meetings are where citizens can help shape policies on a variety of levels. You can also be active in electing local leaders or even run for various positions yourself. The Secretary of Stateís website has a Caucus Finder (http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/) where people can find their meeting locations. I hope you are able to attend and bring friends and family.
As each of you prepare to file your income taxes this year, keep in mind that Republicans in the Minnesota legislature have been fighting to keep your taxes from going up. Despite Governor Daytonís insistence that Minnesotaís income tax be raised to one of the highest rates in the country, we used reforms and limited government spending to solve last yearís budget deficit and, as a result, now have a projected $876 million surplus.
Last year, in the Tax Omnibus Bill (HF 42), Republicans in the legislature chose to conform to the increased standard deduction for married joint filers that came with the federal government extending the Bush tax cuts. Unfortunately, Governor Dayton vetoed that bill and chose to deny the low and middle income married joint filers who utilize this increased deduction amount. He also refused to include this provision during negotiations on the special session tax bill. Because of his decisions, $117 million in income tax relief will not be going out to these Minnesotans.
I want to encourage taxpayers to take advantage of free tax preparation services available through the IRS Free File program this year. Every taxpayer with a 2010 Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less may visit www.IRS.gov/freefile to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. This service is made possible through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts on the legislative session.
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