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

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Session concludes; town hall meetings this Friday

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Dear Neighbor,
 
The 2014 session has drawn to a close and, like any year, there were some things I liked and some things I would have liked to seen handled differently.
 
Take for example, taxes. I am pleased we repealed some of the $2.4 billion in new taxes and fees the majority passed last year. Taxes on warehousing, telecommunications and equipment repairs were especially unnecessary so it was good to pull them off the books. But those taxes account for only a small portion of that $2.4 billion, so most of the new tax increases remain. We could have done more, especially in light of a $1.2 billion state budget surplus.
 

One of the biggest items of business in the final days of the session was a capital investment bill which bonds to pay for various projects throughout the state. We had an agreement at the end of the 2013 session that this year’s bonding bill would be $846 million and that is the number we stuck to. The one caveat is a stand-alone $200 million cash bill was added to fund additional purposes. The library in Perham will receive funding. Disappointingly, projects at the colleges in Fergus Falls and Wadena, and a trail between Pelican Rapids and Perham were not included.

 

It also is disappointing the majority avoided examining improvements that could be made to help MNsure perform better and operate more efficiently. We have had scores of citizens forced off their insurance, face problems obtaining insurance or had their personal data privacy compromised. We in the minority offered solutions, but they were ignored.

 

We can talk about these issues and others during a series of town hall meetings I will host Friday with Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen. Here are the essentials:

 

Perham Town Hall

Friday, May 23, 8:30-10 a.m.

Lakes Cafe 136 W. Main St., Perham,

 

Pelican Rapids Town Hall
Friday, May 23, 10:45-12:15 p.m.

Muddy Moose 30 N. Broadway, Pelican Rapids

 

Fergus Falls Town Hall

Friday, May 23, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

LB Homes, 805 E. Channing Ave., Fergus Falls

(former Eisenhower Elementary School building)

 

Battle Lake Town Hall

Friday, May 23, 3:45 PM–5:00 p.m.

Good Samaritan, 105 Glenhaven Dr., Battle Lake

 

I hope you can attend one or more of these meetings. Your correspondence always is appreciated. Until then, take care.

 

Sincerely,

Bud

 

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