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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

The 2018 legislative session ended late Sunday night with the passage of both a tax/education bill and a supplemental finance bill. Both of these pieces of legislation represented compromise positions from the House in an effort to ensure Governor Dayton would sign the bills into law.

Unfortunately, for reasons hard to understand, the governor vetoed both bills yesterday—an act that will have a widespread, negative impact on millions of Minnesotans.

The truth is that the legislature made a good-faith effort to compromise by accommodating nearly 70% of the governor's state objections. Nearly all of the so-called 'controversial' policy measures were removed—when asked specifically about policy measures that remained in the bill by the press, the governor could barely recall any objections.

Our tax bill would have conformed the state’s code to changes made at the federal level and give 2.2 million Minnesotans a tax break. This tax break included the first income tax cut for the 2 lowest income brackets in nearly two decades and preserved a number of exemptions and deductions.

Now, due to the governor’s actions, nearly 1 million Minnesotans will actually pay more in taxes next year and every Minnesotan will have to deal with a complicated and cumbersome tax filing process.

For more information on the harm that will be caused by the governor’s reckless veto, please click here.

The supplemental finance bill also included a number of important initiatives like important school safety funding, funding to help deputy registrars hurt by the MNLARS mess, funding to help avert a 7% cut for those employees that work with our vulnerable  disability population, critical funding to combat opioid abuse and more.

Instead, none of those critically needed initiatives will be taking place thanks to his veto.

Here is a brief list of people affected by Governor Dayton’s vetoes:

  • People affected by Gov. Dayton’s vetoes:
  • Victims of elder abuse
  • Victims of opioid addiction, and medical professionals
  • Victims of distracted driving
  • Special education and Head Start students
  • People dealing with MNLARS hassles
  • Deputy registrars whose businesses are floundering after MNLARS
  • People who need mental health support, particularly farmers and students
  • Farmers and agribusinesses that need Section 179 conformity for equipment depreciation
  • People who live in rural areas without high-speed internet
  • Students who need help to afford college
  • People who need job training and businesses that need skilled workers
  • K-12 students who won’t benefit from school safety funding
  • Taxpayers who will have a heck of a time filing their taxes next year
  • Voters concerned about election security
  • Minnesotans concerned about privacy, data breaches, and cyber security
  • CPAs and tax professionals who will be dealing with very complex tax filings
  • Parents looking to find the best school for their children
  • Low-income working families who rely on federal child care subsidies
  • New teachers who need licenses, and schools who want to hire them
  • Children enrolled in Head Start programs
  • Schools that need adjustments to fully fund special education
  • Patients who care about transparent pricing for health care and prescription drugs
  • People with disabilities, and their caretakers, who would be affected by a 7% cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System

It is very disappointing and I am hopeful we can pick up where we left off next year and address these problems and get them signed into law.

Over this Memorial Day weekend, I hope you find a moment to pause with your loved one to acknowledge the sacrifice that so many men and women have made in service to our nation. If you know anyone who has lost a loved one in military service, please thank them for their sacrifice. If you have lost a family member in the line of military duty, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

God Bless,

Glenn

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