Before we get to legislative news, I want to send wishes for a happy Mother’s Day and the best of luck for the fishing opener.
As for the latest from the Capitol, the final full week of the 2018 session begins Monday and this year’s largest bills are in the process of negotiations as we look for agreement between the House, the Senate and the governor.
The House has provided preliminary approval a supplemental budget package and a bill providing another round of tax relief. A capital investment bill could come up for a vote of the full House next week. As a quick refresher, the House’s tax bill allows our state’s taxpayers to fully benefit from recent federal tax reform and it also provides additional tax relief to middle-class Minnesotans. The centerpiece of our bill is a historic second-tier income tax rate reduction.
As work continues on those projects, the Legislature has taken up other items on the floor. In recent days we approved a number of bills to support veterans and also elected Dr. Randy Simonson as the newest member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Dr. Simonson, who is a Worthington veterinary microbiologist, will represent the First District and replace the resigning Patricia Simmons, a retired Rochester physician who had been the U’s longest-serving regent. I look forward to Dr. Simonson doing good work among the regents.
The House also approved a bill to close a loophole on DWI enforcement. You may have heard about the traffic fatalities in Wisconsin caused by a driver who apparently had huffed the intoxicants found in canned air that people use for cleaning keyboards, etc. If that accident had happened in Minnesota, current law would not have allowed for the driver to face DWI charges. Our bill would change that.
In other news, we have received word from the federal government that, as long as we continue making progress on implementation, Minnesota’s standard state ID/driver’s license will suffice in boarding commercial, domestic flights at least until Oct. 1, 2020. This is good news as our state works to establish the new Real ID system in order to comply with heightened federal security standards.
Look for more news from the Capitol as we near adjournment.