Neighbors and Friends,
I am co-hosting a town hall with Rep. Debra Hilstrom and Senator Chris Eaton on Saturday morning, April 1st at 10:00 a.m. at the Brooklyn Center Community Center in the Cohen Room. These are great events for me to hear directly from you about your concerns and I hope you can attend. Your input is valuable to me. Here are the full details.
WHAT: Legislative Town Hall Meeting
WHO: State Rep. Debra Hilstrom, Rep. Michael Nelson, Sen. Chris Eaton, interested members of the community
WHEN: Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 a.m. to noon
WHERE: Brooklyn Center Community Center, Cohen Room, 6301 Shingle Creek Pkwy, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
Legislative action has ramped up again this week as we near our last committee deadline approaching on March 31. Our days are filled with constituent group visits, daytime and evening committee hearings and floor sessions. Here is an update from the Capitol:
House Budget Targets Released
House Republicans announced their budget targets this week; the final piece needed for committees to craft the budget for the next two years. Any budget decisions should put Minnesotans first and prepare for uncertainty at the federal level. The Republican budget makes deep cuts to health and human services, underfunds education, and already includes a tax giveaway for the owners of corporations.
We’re still waiting for details in most budget areas, and I’ll keep advocating for common sense and responsible proposals that invest in the areas that have made Minnesota’s economy strong, like education.
For-Profit Prison Bill
Tuesday, the House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee heard HF 1510, a bill to allow Minnesota to conduct business with for-profit prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America (recently rebranded to “CoreCivic”). The bill would require Minnesota to buy or lease the for-profit prison facility owned by Corrections Corporation of America in Appleton, MN.
There are a host of issues with for-profit prisons, including weakened safety and security, and adverse effects on low-income Minnesotans and people of color. We should be looking at ways to help Minnesotans reform their lives, instead of incentivizing corporations to throw more people in jail to make money.
House Property Tax Proposal
Over the weekend, House Republicans released their property tax bill. Unfortunately, the main item in this legislation is a tax giveaway for commercial and industrial property owners and corporations.
Instead of prioritizing tax giveaways for corporations, we should focus on efforts to improve economic outcomes for Minnesota families. Any amount of tax cuts for corporations would be better invested in Minnesotans.
Michael V. Nelson