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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

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Thursday, March 3, 2022

Lawmakers returned to St. Paul understanding they would be making decisions on how to allocate a record state budget surplus. On February 28, the surplus record was broken again.


In their latest economic forecast, Minnesota’s economic experts project a $9.3 billion surplus for the 2022-23 legislative biennium. That figure is up $1.5 billion from the already historic $7.7 billion surplus projected in November.


I firmly believe we have to put this money back in the hands of Minnesotans through permanent tax relief, especially since residents are facing higher costs of living on everything from food to gasoline. Prices are skyrocketing under the Biden/Walz economy and enacting tax relief is one way we can help as it allows people to keep more of what they earn. 


As I’ve stated before, eliminating the state tax on Social Security would be a good place to start. Many senior citizens are living on fixed incomes to begin with, and it doesn’t make sense for Minnesota to be taxing their benefits. All areas of tax relief should be on the table this session, as we should be seeking to help as many Minnesotans as we can.


Its also worth exploring if we should pay cash for some one-time projects such as road and bridge construction. Doing so could lower future state debt in our capital investment bill, where transportation funding projects of statewide significance are typically funded. 


But the overwhelming majority of this surplus, in my opinion, should be used for permanent and significant tax relief. A record windfall gives lawmakers the opportunity to do something historic for our taxpayers, and we should take advantage of it.



While work has been steady in our House committees since the start of session, things will really begin to heat up in the next month as committee deadlines are approaching. These deadlines represent the times when a bill must receive action from a committee in order for it to move forward the rest of session. The deadlines do not apply to the House committees on Capital Investment, Ways and Means, Taxes, or Rules and Legislative Administration.


The first deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin (in this case, the Minnesota House) is March 25. The second deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house (in this case, the Minnesota Senate) is April 1. The third deadline is for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills is April 8.


With session ending in mid-May, many of the bills that move forward in the next few weeks will likely be a part of any end of session agreement made between the House and Senate. I will be sure to keep you updated on these as we move forward.