For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
Meeting with the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) who visited the Capitol as part of their program
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Here is an update with the latest news from the Capitol.
In this Issue:
Bonding and the Brockton Lane Interchange
The House Capital Investment Committee unveiled its $825 million bonding proposal this week that includes funding for a very important project in our community.
The bill I am authoring to provide $13.5 million for the Brockton Interchange in Dayton is included in our capital investment package. The funding will allow for the construction of a full access point and auxiliary lanes on I-94 just east of the existing Highway 101 overpass. This is among the longest stretches of freeway without an exit in the entire metro, and a key project to help alleviate traffic and make accessing our community easier.
Overall, our bonding bill is focused heavily on infrastructure, with more than two-thirds of the funds dedicated toward brick-and-mortar projects including asset preservation, transportation infrastructure, and water and conservation projects.
House Republicans started the week by passing a bipartisan bill that will simplify and reduce taxes for Minnesotans. As I shared last week, our tax conformity plan includes the first income tax rate reduction in nearly two decades, increases the standard deduction from $13,000 to $14,000, and provides a tax cut for more than 2 million filers next year.
The Senate and governor have also released their respective plans, and my hope is that we can come to a final agreement that will provide meaningful tax relief for hardworking Minnesotans and ensure filers can take full advantage of state and federal relief. I will keep you updated.
Update on Supplemental Bills
I talked about our supplemental education bill last week. This week, the House took up and passed several more supplemental bills in health and human services, transportation, environment, agriculture, state government finance and more.
Here are some highlights:
After making the largest transportation investment in state history last session without making Minnesotans pay more at the pump, this year’s supplemental transportation bill spends an additional $385 million on transportation needs this year, using surplus funds leveraged with trunk highway bonds.
The key points in our Health and Human Services bill include cutting the MNsure tax on health plans to help lower health care costs, combating the opioid epidemic, implementing a number of measures to protect vulnerable adults, addressing waste, fraud and abuse of public programs, and preventing an impending 7 percent cut to those who care for Minnesota’s disabled community through the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS).
The Public Safety bill closes loopholes in Minnesota law surrounding criminal sexual misconduct, strengthens conditional release or probation terms for sex offenders from ten years to 25 years, and increases penalties for child pornography possession and dissemination. It also increases the penalties for protestors who illegally obstructs highways, airports or transit systems, and increases the penalties for assaulting law enforcement from a gross misdemeanor to a felony.
This bill provides funding to combat Chronic Wasting Disease for our deer herds in Minnesota, and brings greater legislative oversight to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency including sending them back to the drawing board on the 10mg/L sulfate standard for wild rice.
This bill addresses the needs of the agriculture community, including investing in mental health counseling for farmers and rural professionals, and $35 million in bonding revenue for agriculture loans through the Rural Finance Authority.
Jobs and Energy
In this bill, there is funding to expand broadband development grants, as well as measures to lower energy costs for Xcel Energy ratepayers by reducing their contribution to the state’s renewable development account. The bill also assists disabled veterans by permitting them to receive job skills through centers for independent living.
This legislation funds three new Minnesota veterans homes with excess Stadium Reserve Funds. It also brings needed reforms to the Met Council, adding locally-elected officials to the Council, staggering terms, and eliminating the Transportation Advisory Board.
I will keep you updated as we move forward to find common ground and finalize these bills with the Senate and Governor Dayton before we adjourn later this month. Stay tuned.
Come play bingo on Monday, May 14 from 1-3 pm at the Rogers Senior Center, where you can play for the new prizes and join in on the fun! It’s for a great cause, and raises money for the Seniors of Rogers. Cards are $.25 each with a limit of 6 cards per game. A variety of games are played with cash prizes of $5 per game and $10 for the final cover-all. Refreshments are served. Bring your friends and neighbors for a few hours of fun and get acquainted with other seniors in the area!
Walk to Remember
The Maple Grove Friends of the Angel volunteer group will host the annual Walk to Remember this Saturday, May 5 beginning at 10 am at the Angel of Hope statue located at the Maple Grove Arboretum (9400 Fernbrook Lane). Visit friendsoftheangel.org for more information.
Kentucky Derby Party
Attend a Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday, May 5 from 4 to 6:30 pm at the Osseo-Maple Grove American Legion (260 Fourth Ave. S.E., Osseo). There will be prizes for the best derby hat and jockey ensemble, as well as food, drinks, drawings, trivia and a photo booth.
Maple Grove Lions 11th Annual Half Marathon, 10K and 5K
Saturday, May 12, you can take part in the Maple Grove Half Marathon, 10K or 5K walk/run. Learn more and how to register at maplegrovehalfmarathon.com
Thank you to everyone who participated in the last Peppin’s MinnTriv. The question was: The city of Saint Paul was originally known by this nickname, which was also given to settler Pierre Parrant. The answer was Pig’s Eye.
Congratulations to Justin Kovar from Maple Grove who is last week’s winner.
Here is this week’s question:
This seaway system allows oceangoing ships to travel through the Great Lakes and reach as far west as Duluth.
The THIRD correct response will be featured in the next email update.
In order to best represent our communities, I need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time. My direct line is 651-296-7806. My email address is email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 459 State Office Building, 100 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.
Have a wonderful weekend.
**Encourage your neighbors and friends to sign up for my email updates at www.house.mn/34A
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