ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House concluded the 2018 session on Sunday, passing a compromise tax conformity and education funding bill, a bonding bill, and a pension bill to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk for consideration.
“We did our part by putting some very good bills on the governor’s desk,” said Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston. “Are they perfect bills from my perspective? No, but that’s the nature of compromise and we passed a lot of good stuff. The tax relief, funding for safe schools and money for people who care for the disabled are just the tip of the iceberg and should be slam dunk for the governor to sign into law.”
The tax conformity and education plan were part of a compromise effort between legislative Republicans and Dayton. The federal conformity plan protects taxpayers, simplifies Minnesota’s tax code, and provides the first income tax rate cut in nearly 20 years. It also makes available more than $225 million to help students – nearly $100 million more than what the governor requested, provides new money and additional flexibility for school districts to address budget shortfalls.
Earlier Sunday, the House sent a supplemental budget bill to the governor’s desk. It contains shared priorities like ensuring safe schools, repairing roads and bridges, tackling the opioid epidemic, protecting aging and vulnerable adults, and preventing a cut to caregivers of disabled Minnesotans.
Green said improved school safety and student mental health were top priorities for the House this year. The bonding bill passed Sunday night brings the total school safety investment to more than $50 million.
The bills sent to the governor build on what Green called the tremendously successful accomplishments from the 2017 session that included the largest tax cut in nearly two decades and the largest investment in roads and bridges in state history without a gas tax increase.
The compromise proposals await action by Dayton in the coming days.