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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Friday, May 4, 2018

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With folks who were at the Capitol Minnesota Water Day


Dear Neighbors,

Here is an update from your Capitol.

Supplemental Bills

It’s been a very busy week in the House! Last week, we took up the education/higher education supplemental bill which focused on school and student safety and passed with strong bipartisan support. This week, we took up the remainder of our supplemental bills addressing everything from transportation to agriculture.

Some highlights in the bills we passed this week include:

  • Providing $385 million for transportation needs this year, using surplus funds leveraged with trunk highway bonds to repair and improve our roads and bridges
  • Reinstating the impending 7 percent cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System
  • Addressing vulnerable adult abuse and neglect, strengthening the tools the state can use against perpetrators of abuse and holding state agencies accountable for their shortcomings on maltreatment investigations
  • Strengthening penalties for those who assault a peace officer, protestors who illegally obstruct roadways and transit, and for sex offenders, including those who possess or disseminate child pornography
  • Expanding broadband development grants
  • Funding three new veterans homes in Minnesota with excess Stadium Reserve Funds
  • Addressing Chronic Wasting Disease
  • Cutting the MNsure tax on health plans to help lower health care costs for Minnesotans
  • Investing in mental health counseling for farmers and rural professionals

These are just a few of the key highlights in the bills we passed on the House Floor this week. The next step will be to work toward a final agreement with folks in the Senate and Governor Dayton. We are committed to focusing on the commonsense priorities that Minnesotans share, and I will keep you updated as we head into the final weeks of session.

Bonding Bill

On Wednesday, the House unveiled their $825 million bonding package, and there are some great projects included for our area.

First, the City of Waite Park would receive $5 million for quarry redevelopment which is a very important local project. $4.45 million is appropriated in our bill for the National Guard Readiness Center in St. Cloud for their restoration and expansion. The St. Cloud Department of Corrections would also receive $2.7 million for phase two of their interior perimeter fence.

Our plan focuses heavily on infrastructure needs in our state, with more than two-thirds of the funding in our bonding proposal dedicated toward brick-and-mortar projects including asset preservation of state-owned buildings, roads and bridges, and water and conservation projects.

I will be advocating for the bonding bill which includes important projects for our community and for communities across the state. I will keep you updated.

Update on Tax Conformity

To start the week, the House passed our bipartisan tax conformity bill that will simplify our tax code and ensure folks can take full advantage of state and federal tax relief.

As I shared last week, our plan includes the first income rate reduction in nearly two decades, and in all, more than 2.1 million Minnesota filers would benefit from a tax cut next year if our plan is signed into law. It also includes the first income tax rate reduction in nearly two decades.

Getting tax conformity done this year is important so folks don’t face unnecessary complications when they go to file their taxes next year. I’ll keep you updated as we work on a final agreement between the House, Senate and Governor Dayton.


It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol. Have a wonderful weekend!