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State Representative Anna Wills

491 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4306

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

Posted: 2018-05-04
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update from Rep. Anna Wills


Friends, 

It's been another busy week at the Capitol. Read up on what we've been up to and have a great weekend!

Tax Conformity Bill Passes House

On Monday, April 30th, we passed bipartisan tax legislation on a vote of 90-38. The House tax proposal simplifies Minnesota’s tax code to fully benefit from federal tax reform and provide additional tax relief to middle-class Minnesotans.  

This bill delivers the first income tax cut in nearly 20 years by reducing the second tier income tax rate and preserves many of the tax breaks Minnesota families use. We are committed to getting a tax conformity bill done this year so Minnesotans won't face headaches when they file their taxes next April. Without House Republican reforms, conforming to the federal tax code would cause almost 1 million filers to pay more.

As a result of House Republicans’ proposal, more than 2.1 million Minnesota filers will benefit from a tax cut in tax year 2018. Highlights include:

  • Helping middle-class Minnesotans keep more of what they earn by cutting the second tier income tax rate from 7.05% to 6.75% by tax year 2020. This would mark the first income tax rate reduction in Minnesota since 2000. 
  • Lowering taxes for people at all income levels by increasing the standard deduction for all filers. 
  • Protecting families by preserving a state personal and dependent exemption of $4,150. 
  • Encouraging affordable homeownership by allowing a state-itemized deduction of up to $30,000 in property taxes. 
  • Supporting hometown businesses and farmers by reinvesting extra revenue from corporate tax changes into Section 179 conformity and overall rate reductions.

In contrast to House Republicans’ legislation to simplify and reduce taxes, an analysis conducted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue shows that tax changes proposed in Governor Dayton's supplemental budget would raise taxes on Minnesotans of every income level, and make Minnesota's tax code more regressive.

School Safety Proposal

Last week, we passed bipartisan education legislation on a vote of 94-29 that puts students first by prioritizing school and student safety, increases transparency in school finance and performance reporting, and helps prepare kids for a bright and successful future. As part of the School Safety Proposal, one of my bills to provide funding for School Resource Officer Training was included in the total package. Below is a quick interview with non-partisan House Public Information Services about this important proposal. 

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Public Safety Omnibus Bill

On Tuesday, May 1st, the House passed our Public Safety Omnibus bill. Our bill is first and foremost committed to keeping Minnesotans safe, and it accomplishes that goal through important policy changes and additional funding in key areas. In the bill, we protect law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, keeps Minnesota’s roads safe, cracks down on dangerous sex offenders, and devote more resources to protecting our children by increasing funding for the Guardian Ad Litem program.

Transportation Omnibus Bill

After our historic investment in transportation last year, all without raising taxes, we are once again prioritizing maintaining our roads and bridges - without forcing drivers to pay more at the pump. The Transportation Omnibus bill passed on Tuesday, May 1st, includes $250 million for highways statewide through Trunk Highway bonds; $145 million in Trunk Highway bonds and $10 million in cash for Corridors of Commerce program projects; $25 million for county roads, $6.6 million for city roads, $2 million for township roads; $7 million for Small Cities Assistance Program for cities under 5,000; $75 million for trunk highway-rail grade separation projects; and $9 million to deputy registrars for MNLARS reimbursement aid.

HHS Omnibus Bill

On Tuesday, May 1st, we passed the HHS Omnibus bill. It is focused on delivering affordable health care and improving the well-being of Minnesotans. The cornerstones of our bill are reducing health care costs, combatting the opioid epidemic, protecting vulnerable adults, and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse of public health dollars. A key provision I co-authored was to reinstate funding to prevent the impending 7% cut to Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) rates. My bill to update the 2007 Homeless Youth Report was also included.

Supplemental Omnibus Bill

On Thursday, May 3rd, we passed SF 3656, the Supplemental State Government, Agriculture, Environment, and Jobs Omnibus bill on a bipartisan vote of 77-49. You can watch the bill introduction here

  • The State Government Finance portion of the legislation includes funding for three new veterans homes, Metropolitan Council reforms, and improvements to state cybersecurity. The plan also reduces state government spending by $7 million through efficiencies and cost-saving measures in state agencies.
  • The supplemental Agriculture Finance bill allocates approximately $35 million to a number of programs that will assist Minnesota’s farmers. Highlights include providing $35 million in bonding revenue for farmer loans through Rural Finance Authority; $217,000 for additional mental health counseling specifically tailored to farm families and other rural professionals and $30,000 for farm advocate services. It also requires nitrogen fertilizer rules proposed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to have legislative approval and extends the Agriculture Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) by ten years in order to fund long-term research aimed to reduce inputs, improve soil health and preserve water quality.
  • The Environment portion of the bill dedicates $750,000 to combat Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) which affects Minnesota’s deer, elk and moose populations. It also reinforces our state’s commitment to outdoor recreation, investing a greater portion of the revenue from deer hunting licenses to the Deer Management Account, supporting additional resources for ATV and snowmobile trails in Minnesota, and closing loopholes in law regarding ATV and snowmobile operation for those who have been convicted of a DWI. Finally, the bill brings greater oversight to state agencies, including sending the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency back to the drawing board on their unworkable 10 mg/L sulfate standard for wild rice.
  • The Job Growth and Energy Affordability Omnibus component of the bill combine supplemental appropriations for a number of state agencies related to economic development, energy, and housing. Included is $15 million for rural broadband development grants, a nation-leading proposal supporting the Prairie Island Indian Community’s efforts to become a net-zero energy community, initiatives to lower energy costs for ratepayers, job training grants, and other programs and grants to help small-business startups.

Meetings this Week

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Rep. Wills visited District 196 Shannon Park Elementary and spoke with Principal Erik Davis about all of the great things happening at the school and what she's working on at the Capitol.

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Rep. Wills toured Intermediate School District 917 and spoke with Principal Eric Van Brocklin about the amazing work they're doing to train students in career and technical fields.

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Rep. Wills met with Marilyn, constituent Tessa, and Whitney who were advocating for increases to funding for school psychologists. Increased funding was part of the school safety proposal that passed last week. 

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Rep. Wills & Rep. Tony Jurgens met with a group of homeschool students on a Capitol tour. 

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Rep. Wills with constituent Gail at the National Day of Prayer at the Capitol. 

District 196 Legislative Advisory Council Openings

The District 196 Legislative Advisory Council has openings for citizens and is accepting applications through May 11th for four at-large citizen positions. The purpose of the Legislative Advisory Council is to increase citizen participation in the legislative process and how they impact District 196. The council provides input on and advocate for the district's legislative priorities. Applications are available at www.District196.org or by calling 651-423-7775.

Help create a Market Fest
The City of Rosemount is looking for residents who are interested in serving on an informal Market Fest Committee. The Committee will work to bring a variety of vendors to a new weekend outdoor market in Rosemount. If you are interested, please email lacelle.cordes@ci.rosemount.mn.us.

Keep in Touch

Thank you to so many of you who have contacted my office so far this Session! I receive hundreds of emails weekly and value all of your feedback. Thank you also for your patience as I work to respond to each of you.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your comments, questions, and concerns. Email me anytime at rep.anna.wills@house.mn or call 651-296-4306. Stay up to date with what I am up to at the legislature and around our community by following my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

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Anna Wills

State Representative District 57B

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