For more information contact: Matt Roznowski 651-296-8875
Last week, state lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives took some significant steps to make sure our economy continues growing from the middle-out.
For example, we introduced a bonding bill designed to create good jobs and address our state’s infrastructure needs, passed a supplemental budget that makes more investments in priorities like education, and approved additional property tax relief for homeowners, renters, and businesses.
If you want to learn more about some of the issues state lawmakers are working on, take a moment to read through this update for additional details.
This year’s bonding bill includes $850 million in bonds and $125 million in one-time cash expenditures from Minnesota’s budget surplus.
Those dollars will go a long way in helping to create good jobs and address deferred maintenance roads, bridges and builds at our state’s public colleges and universities. And they will save taxpayer dollars over the long run because those repairs grow more expensive over time.
I’m very pleased our bonding proposal includes dollars for groundwater monitoring and much-needed improvements at Century College. Those are resources that will make a difference right in our own backyard, whether it’s providing our students with a top-notch learning environment or developing a solution to prevent water shortages.
Other projects included in the bill that will make a positive impact on our area include:
While the House proposal did not include my bill to create a lake augmentation system to help restore the water level at White Bear Lake, the Senate is expected to include a similar provision. I remain optimistic that we can include that provision in the final conference committee bill.
On Thursday, House lawmakers passed a supplemental budget that will help build on the positive economic momentum we’re seeing throughout the state.
Some of the highlights from the budget include:
More funding for every school
$54 million to boost the funding formula by one percent (an increase of $58 per student).
Hot lunches for low-income students
$3.5 million to expand the school lunch program so no student is ever denied a meal due to the inability to pay.
Investments in early childhood education
Over $4 million for early childhood literacy programs, school readiness aid and developmental screening aid.
$80.36 million for a 5% wage increase for home-and-community-based health care workers who provide care for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Critical transportation funding
Additional investments in highways, roads and bridges as well as funding for local governments to fill potholes after one the worst winters in decades.
After the entire Senate passes a supplemental budget, a conference committee with lawmakers from each chamber will iron out any differences before we vote on a final bill to be signed into law by Governor Dayton.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF:
Several weeks ago, the Legislature and Governor Dayton approved over $400 million in tax cuts that benefit over one million Minnesotans. Last week, House lawmakers kept the momentum going by approving an additional $103 million in property tax relief for homeowners, renters and businesses – building off the $133 million investment in property tax relief we approved during the 2013 Session.
The bill we passed last week includes $12.1 million in tax relief for 500,000 homeowners (with every eligible homeowner receiving a three percent boost to their refund this year), and $12.5 million in tax relief for 350,000 renters (with every eligible renter receiving a six percent boost to their refund).
It also provides a property tax cut for small businesses with property value less than $1.1 million by excluding all commercial and industrial property value less than $150,000 from the statewide general property tax, as well as sales tax reforms that provide additional sales tax relief to small businesses.
Lastly, the bill provides tax relief to our active military members by extending our active military income tax subtraction to National Guard service members in the Active Guard Reserve.
STAY IN TOUCH:
As always, please send me your comments, questions or ideas. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-5363 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all who attended my town hall meeting this past weekend. We had a great discussion on addressing water shortages in our area. I also appreciated all the input on the Safe Schools bill.
State Representative, District 43A