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Tax relief heads to Governor's desk, Senate DFL sinks bonding bill at last minute
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota House adjourned sine die Sunday evening, officially concluding the 2016 legislative session. The House and Senate passed several bills, including more than half a billion dollars in permanent, middle-class tax relief and historic tax breaks for Minnesota's veterans.
The Minnesota House also passed a transportation bonding bill with $696.5 million in funding for roads and bridges on a bipartisan vote of 91 to 39. In a political maneuver, the Senate DFL majority failed to pass the bonding bill and prevented funding from going to important projects across the state.
Representative Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) released the following statement regarding adjournment and the legislation passed this year:
"From historic investments in our students and schools to meaningful tax relief for Minnesota families, I am pleased at the work accomplished over the past two years for the people and priorities of Eden Prairie. The bipartisan tax bill we sent to the governor will put money back in the pockets of families, veterans, college graduates with student debt and Eden Prairie businesses.
Additionally, I was a strong advocate for making substantial investments in improving our roads and bridges, and passing a comprehensive transportation package that would provide a 10-year plan for continued improvement in our transportation infrastructure. I am disappointed that critical decisions by House and Senate leaders on a bonding bill were left to the final hours of session, and no transportation package was ever passed by the conference committee and presented to the House and Senate for a vote. Trying to pass complex bills in the final minutes before sine die with little chance for legislators to know what is in the bills is not a good process, and not in the best interests of the citizens of Minnesota. The highly controversial amendment a handful of Senators chose to offer to the bonding bill that had passed the House was a tax increase on the residents of Hennepin County, via the Hennepin County Rail Authority, in order to fund the Southwest Light Rail. It was a very divisive measure that served to take down the entire bonding bill, and may force us into special session. These kind of tactics do not reflect positively on the type of behavior and commitment to acting for the common good that I think most Minnesotans expect from their legislators.
I will continue to stand up for Eden Prairie families and taxpayers, looking for innovative and common sense solutions that serve the needs of our community."
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