Before my update, I hope you will join me in extending your thoughts and prayers with Senator Carla Nelson of Rochester who is currently caring for her ailing father. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.
This Thursday, May 11th marked the 159th Anniversary of Minnesota's statehood. Between that and passing our budget bills for the next two years, it's been a busy time at the Capitol. Unfortunately, Governor Dayton has so far been unwilling to participate in real negotiations to avoid last-minute budget deals. Due to this, we have begun the process of sending him budget bills that were negotiated between the House & Senate. Early next week we will complete this process and hopefully the Governor will do what is best for Minnesotans and sign the bills. Read about a couple of them below and have a great Mother's Day and Fishing Opener weekend.
Tax Relief and Reform
Middle-class Minnesotans are the biggest winners of the compromise tax bill between the House & Senate. The bill provides over $1.1 billion in tax relief and reforms with over half of that targeted at the middle-class. Relief will be felt by Minnesotans of all ages: from those with young children who will benefit from an expanded child care credit to farmers receiving relief by lessening their burden of school district debt to middle-class seniors who will see the beginning of the phase out of taxes on their social security income. Phasing out the taxes on social security is especially important as it is the first step to Minnesota joining most other states that do not tax social security benefits. This is a good bill for Minnesotans and I hope the governor will sign it.
With the Transportation Plan that passed the House this week, we are addressing a statewide need and a core function of the state government. We do this by using existing resources, and part of the surplus, while NOT raising taxes. There is no need to raise a gas tax while there is clearly enough existing revenue to fund our needs. The compromise plan between the House & Senate dedicates $2 billion toward our transportation needs with an emphasis on roads and bridges. I hope the governor will sign this bill and give Minnesotans the transportation bill we badly need.
Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts and ideas on issues important to you. You can schedule a time to meet with me in my office any time by calling (651) 296-9236, or share your thoughts via email by emailing me at email@example.com
Thank you and have a great weekend,