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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, March 5, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

Before we wind through this week’s highlights from the Capitol, I want to thank the Lyon County Farm Bureau members who recently took time to meet with me during their virtual Day on the Hill.

There is a long tradition of organizations conducting Day on the Hill events, where groups come to the Capitol to discuss issues of importance to them with legislators in their offices. COVID-19 restrictions have put a damper on these in-person meetings for now, but we continue taking advantage of technology to communicate other ways, particularly through video forums.

Thanks again to the groups that have continued to communicate with me to share their ideas. As always, my door remains open, even in the virtual world. 

In other news: 

Stop taxing emergency business loans 

The House should take immediate action to spare businesses throughout Minnesota from owing state taxes on forgivable emergency loans recently issued by the federal government. 

The Tax Foundation reports Minnesota is the only state in the Upper Midwest that has yet to exempt forgiven Paycheck Protection Plan loans from state income taxes. These loans were offered as lifelines for businesses to keep employees on the payroll and meet other financial obligations amid COVID-19 restrictions. More than 102,000 Minnesota businesses received them. 

It would be unacceptable for our state to skim tax dollars from emergency funding sent to struggling businesses. The state has a $1.6 billion surplus, so there certainly is not a lack of revenue. We need to get this issue resolved now.  

Let’s not hold it hostage until the end of the session when it could slip through the cracks. If the governor calls for this bill, it could be on his desk in no time. Let’s send him a clean bill – no amendments – to show bipartisan support for our business community. Our state’s workers have suffered so much in the last year and it’s time to get their backs.  

The Minnesota Senate Tax Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that exempts PPP loans from state taxes. There is no reason for the House to delay and play games with people’s livelihoods. 

Budget talks

Look for general budget talks to soon pick up steam. Committees have been hearing about various aspects of the governor’s $1.7 billion in proposed tax increases. Tax increases are unnecessary, especially with the state running a surplus, and I hope these talks are soon put to rest. 

Find My Vaccine 

I continue receiving questions from people regarding how and when they can get a COVID-19 vaccination – especially with a third vaccination now in distribution. Visit the Find My Vaccine website for additional information and/or to discover a vaccine site near you. 

Want to buy a Ferrari? 

Interesting items sometimes land on the Minnesota Department of Administration surplus auction website. Right now, a forfeited red Ferrari currently is up for auction by the state and you have until March 10 to get in on the bidding. It’s a 1985 coupe with 66,652 miles. It’s listed as “good” condition, but I cannot confirm whether it was previously owned by a grandmother who only drove it to church. Click here for the auction page.