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State Representative Jenifer Loon

449 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7449

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: Mar 27 2015 2:44PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Legislative Update from Rep. Jenifer Loon


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Here is an update from the Capitol.

HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS UPDATE:

  • Survey
  • The Road and Bridge Act
  • Budget Targets

Survey

Your input is valuable, and I want to know your thoughts about top issues being debated at the Capitol this session.  If you haven't done so yet, please take a moment to complete my short legislative survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Loon2015

Be sure to include your personal comments on these or other issues that are important to you—they are especially helpful. I hope you will encourage your friends and neighbors in District 48B to participate as well!

The Road and Bridge Act

On Monday, House and Senate Republicans unveiled the 10-year, $7 billion Road and Bridge Act which will prioritize transportation spending over the next decade by repairing or replacing 15,500 miles of road and 330 bridges statewide. Most importantly, the state can make these significant infrastructure improvements without taking more from Minnesota taxpayers.

In 2012, the Transportation Finance Advisory Committee produced a report that identified $6 billion in funding needed for our roads and bridges over the next decade. The Road and Bridge Act will work to improve our infrastructure by refocusing transportation funding to our roads and bridges. The proposal will fund the immediate repair of roads in communities of all sizes and make highway improvements for commuters and commerce in heavily congested areas.

The Road and Bridge Act creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:

  • Road and Bridge Account – revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts
  • Metro Capital Improvements Account – revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles
  • Small Cities Account – revenue from existing rental vehicle tax
  • Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
  • Suburban County Highway Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax

In addition to the dedicated funds provided by the Transportation Stability Fund, the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning Minnesota Department of Transportation resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.

The most notable difference between the Republican transportation plan and that of Governor Dayton is that we believe taxpayers are already paying enough, and it's unnecessary to increase the cost of driving to improve our transportation infrastructure. The governor's proposal adds a minimum of 16 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas and increases the metro-area sales tax which would cost the average Eden Prairie family with two cars at least $600 more per year.

Improving our roads and bridges is a top priority for Minnesotans, and this comprehensive, long-term proposal will ensure our state has a world-class infrastructure system for years to come.

Budget Targets

On Tuesday, House Republicans revealed their budget targets for FY2016-17 which fiscal committees will use to formulate budgets for each area of state government.

Government can fund Minnesotans' priorities without growing the state budget faster than your family budget. With that in mind, Republicans are proposing to spend $39.949 billion from the general fund, return $2 billion to Minnesotans through tax relief and place $100 million in the budget reserves. This is in contrast to Governor Dayton's budget recommendations which spend $43 billion from the general fund and place no new money in the budget reserves.

In the last twenty years, the state general fund budget has more than doubled, and Republicans are proposing a reasonable increase in spending that doesn't grow government too quickly or put us needlessly at risk for future budget deficits in times of economic downturn. Last biennium alone, the governor and DFL-led legislature increased government spending by 12 percent, more than tripling the rate of the state's economic growth.

These House Republican budget targets were set to make certain we fund our priorities like public education and transportation without growing government faster than your family budget.

Please continue to send me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. I can be reached at rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn or 651-296-7449. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,


Jenifer Loon

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn