The pace has picked up at the Capitol! Many committees met late into the evenings several nights this past week to meet the policy bill deadline of March 23rd. On top of that, key floor debates occurred which produced the passage of the Voter ID constitutional amendment and the House Tax Bill. The Tax Bill includes a statewide business property tax cut and tax credits for job creators and angel investors and will provide across the board relief to every business and incentive to hire. The bill also increases the homeowner property tax refund and the targeted refund for homeowners whose property tax increased more than 12% from the previous year.
District 53A is no more
The decennial redistricting plan issued by the court made major changes to Dist. 53A. It is now broken into 3 House districts with Blaine, C-P, Hugo, Lexington and Lino Lakes comprising Dist. 38A, North Oaks joining District 38B and Shoreview becoming part of Dist. 42A which is an open seat. For those in Dist. 38A, I look forward to working with you as the incumbent state representative. For those of you in North Oaks and Shoreview, I'm sorry we'll be parting, but do not hesitate to contact me on any legislative matter that may come up.
The House and the Senate are meeting today in a conference committee to match up the House File and the Senate File of LIFO (Last In, First Out) an education reform that makes it acceptable to evaluate teachers based on performance instead of just seniority. After the bill passes the conference committee, it will go to the Governor.
Bills I'm Working On…
Several bills that I chief-authored passed in committee this week. HF 1949 concerns the "Truth n Taxation" notice and requires a task force (members are not paid) to recommend how to provide taxpayers better and more transparent information on property taxes. HF 1915 allows the city of Circle Pines 4 years to regain their 5000 population ranking after falling below in the 2010 census. At stake was $90,000 annually from MnDOT in support of bonds issued in 2008, and $40,000 annually in municipal street aid from the dedicated gas tax funds. Sen. Roger Chamberlain and I have teamed up on numerous bills including HF 2541 which offers an alternative to the Vikings Stadium plan. Roger has done an excellent job on this bill! One of my bills, HF 2695, has caught some attention. It would prohibit municipalities from putting taxpayer dollars at risk to build their own telecom systems (telephone, cable and high-speed broadband). The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, www.freedomfoundationofminnesota.com, has done fine investigative reporting on this subject.
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Have a great week!