For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
The Legislature concluded their work, sending a bipartisan budget to Governor Dayton who signed bills into law late last month that will fund state government over the next two years. Together, we were able to come to an agreement on funding our shared priorities including putting more money into every classroom, supporting higher education in Minnesota and providing the largest tax cut to Minnesotans in nearly two decades.
First, one of my top priorities this session was ensuring we provide needed funding to our schools, and I was a strong advocate for a 2 percent and 2 percent increase on the per pupil funding formula. I am happy to say the final agreement included that increased investment, along with additional funding for early education to ensure that kids across the state can get a great start to an outstanding education, putting them on a path toward a bright future.
What’s more, the education bill included a number of reforms to improve student learning and help schools hire and retain more world-class teachers. A provision I spearheaded was also signed into law that gives Edina students first priority to go to Edina schools. My open enrollment bill streamlines the enrollment lottery process, which was a priority for many Edina families with school-aged children.
Just as important as early learning and K-12 education is higher education, and I am pleased we included more money for the University of Minnesota and MnSCU schools across the state. Focusing on affordability and accessibility, tuition at MnSCU two and four year schools were also frozen for the 2018-19 school year. What’s more, our tax bill included a first-in-the-nation tax credit for college graduates with student loan debt, as well as additional subtractions and credits for families saving for higher education with a 529 Savings Plans.
And speaking of tax relief, the bipartisan $650 million tax bill signed into law focused on returning money to taxpayers who helped fund our state’s surplus. Highlights of that bill include additional relief for seniors on Social Security, tax credits for families with young children in daycare, and property tax relief for local businesses.
Transportation was another focus of the 2017 legislative session, as we made significant investments in road and bridge infrastructure across the state. While I did not support the final bill over my concerns with the state removing itself from funding future operating costs of Southwest Light Rail, which will shift a greater burden onto Hennepin County taxpayers, I am pleased my provision to ease congestion in the metro was included. Funding for the I-494 Corridor Commission will help more people working in Edina and surrounding communities access commute alternatives including carpooling and public transportation.
Other highlights from the final budget agreement include provisions putting Minnesota at the forefront of bringing 5G technology to our state, funding veteran priorities, and helping our state’s most vulnerable including children, seniors, and the disabled.
In all, this was a productive session for Minnesota, and it was an honor to advocate for the people and priorities of Edina in Saint Paul. Even with the legislative session now concluded, please know I am always available to you should you have a questions, concerns, or ideas about how to make our great state even better. It is an honor to be your voice at the Capitol!
Around the Capitol
I welcome you to contact my office at any time to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas about what you would like to see happen this session. Your input is invaluable and helps me better represent the voices and priorities of our community. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4363 or by email at Rep.Dario.Anselmo@House.mn.
It is an honor and privilege to serve as your voice at the Capitol.
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