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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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News from Representative Nornes

Friday, March 23, 2012
This week in the Higher Education Committee we heard a bill that would clarify that Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) encompasses academic and career and technical education courses. This bill encourages secondary and postsecondary institutions to enter into partnerships with local and regional businesses and other entrepreneurs to help students pursue both academic and career and technical education leading to an industry credential and a successful transition to postsecondary career and college education. This bill benefits our students, colleges and communities. This is a win-win for everyone. This week has been a busy week on the House floor, with the passage of the Voter ID bill and the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The Voter ID bill proposes an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require all voters provide a photo ID prior to a ballot being cast or counted. The question on the ballot would be: Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification on Election Day and that the state provide free identification to eligible voters? The constitutional amendment also requires that persons voting in a polling place on Election Day present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state would be required to provide photographic identification to eligible voters at no charge. We also passed the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act this week. This bill will help many Minnesota small businesses and had a couple of great provisions in the bill to help college students. The Internship Grant Program, administered through the Office of Higher Education would give a 40 percent grant up to $1,250 per intern to employers. This is a program that aims to attract and keep great talent in Minnesota. This bill provides great benefit to our small business and reduces statewide property taxes on businesses. This bill would exempt 70 percent of the first $150,000 of value for all business property in Minnesota; this will be especially beneficial for rural small businesses. This also begins a 12 year phase-out of the tax in 2014, to be completed in 2025. This bill would also freeze statewide tax on business property for one year. As committee deadlines come, we are in the heart of session, and hoping to complete our work soon. We have a few unanswered issues yet, such as the Vikings stadium, a bonding bill and how we plan to begin restoring the Capitol building which is over 100 years old, and is beginning to deteriorate on the outside. With the weeks remaining it is my hope these issues will be resolved. If you have any questions or concerns regarding legislative issues, please contact my office at 651-296-4946 or email me at rep.bud.nornes@house.mn Sincerely, Bud
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