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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Linda Runbeck (R)

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Another town hall, tax fixes and more

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dear Neighbor,


Thank you to those who joined Sen. Roger Chamberlain and me for a discussion of issues at last Thursday’s town hall meeting in Centerville! 


The second town hall meeting we scheduled will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (March 13) at Lino Lakes City Hall, 600 Town Center Parkway. Please join us as we discuss some of this session’s top issues, including proposals to increase the minimum wage, allow liquor sales on Sundays, repeal tax increases enacted in 2013, and correct problems with Minnesota’s new government-run health insurance program – MNsure. Plus, any other issues attendees are interested in discussing.


Below is a look at the latest legislative events in St. Paul.



The Minnesota House last Thursday passed an emergency tax fix-it bill to prevent costly tax consequences resulting from the bill passed last year by Democrats and Gov. Mark Dayton. This legislation will allow hardworking Minnesotans to get the tax benefit of various federal deductions on their state income tax returns. (The 2013 bill disallowed these deductions amounting to hundreds of dollars for many filers.) While this was a good start, the majority rejected our attempts to include dependent care credits for working moms and dads and undo the penalty for married filers. If minority amendments had succeeded, Minnesota families could have had an extra $200 in their pockets for groceries, gas or heating bills. There is no definitive word on when the Senate will vote on this legislation. Also in the bill were repeals of three business-to-business sales taxes on warehousing and storage, equipment repair, and telecommunication equipment.



A pair of bills I authored to help better manage local water resources is making progress in the Legislature. Here’s a quick summary:

  • H.F. 2337 funds an infrastructure project for the city of Hugo to reuse and recharge storm water for irrigation purposes. Around 25 percent of water used in the city goes toward watering lawns and irrigation and this project would allow the city to reduce their dependence on aquifer draw-down by 100 million gallons.
  • H.F. 2528 would grant municipalities in the east metro Groundwater Management Area (GWMA) a 50-percent representation on the Department of Natural Resources advisory team as work continues in developing a water-management plan for the area.



Here’s a reminder that Anoka County’s road crew welcomes information about the locations of any really bad “wheel-breakers” that have developed during our harsh winter. This warm weather we finally received has a way of bringing out the potholes. You can let county engineer Doug Fischer know about serious pothole issues by emailing



Here is a quick rundown of some things on this week’s agenda:


  • The Government Operations Committee is expected to hear a bill pertaining to prescription marijuana use. We expect the panel only will discuss the rule-making portion of the bill. Also up in that committee is a bill that requires state agencies to enact and enforce a workplace bullying policy.
  • A number of bills regarding the repeal of the estate and gift tax are on the docket for consideration in the Taxes Committee, of which I am a member.
  • The Commerce Committee is in the process of considering liquor-related bills, but a proposal to allow sales on Sunday is still not on the agenda. This committee is scheduled to hear proposals to legislate E-cigarettes and a bill to ban minors from using tanning beds.



Linda Runbeck


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