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

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Here is an update from the Capitol.

Rep. Theis Chairs Committee

This week, the Aging and Long Term Care Committee heard House File 316, a bipartisan bill that will modify nursing home payments.

During the debate of the bill, I chaired the committee. Click on the link below to get a glimpse of the introduction for HF 316!

Governor’s Budget

Last week, Governor Dayton released his budget recommendations for 2016-17. A few highlights from his proposal includes:

  • Increasing general fund spending by $3 billion
  • Increasing $903 million in taxes over the biennium
  • Increasing overall government spending by $1244 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota
  • Growing the general fund budget to $42.2 billion and the all-funds budget to $70.4 billion

In Central Minnesota, I know there are still a lot of people facing uncertainties—whether with their family budget, job security or kids’ college expenses to name a few. That’s why I am disappointed that even after raising billions in taxes in 2013 and with the state boasting a $1 billion surplus, Governor Dayton still wants even more from Minnesota taxpayers.

I believe state government can properly fund our priorities like education and transportation without taking more money from hardworking citizens. Additionally, serving as Vice Chair of the Aging and Long Term Care Committee, I was hoping that the governor would include some additional money in his recommendations for nursing homes, but there was no new funding.

The House Majority will release their budget targets after the February forecast is released at the end of the month.

I am hopeful that legislative leaders and the governor can come to an agreement on a reasonable budget this session that respects taxpayers, funds our priorities and doesn’t continue to grow government at unsustainable rates. 

Updating the Building Code

This week I introduced my first bill, House File 539. This bipartisan legislation will modify the building code, allowing it to be updated every six years and ensuring builders have a twelve-month implementation period before enforcement. It also requires free copies of construction codes to be made available and delays the effective date for the International Residential Code.

If signed into law, this legislation will make it easier for builders to do business in Minnesota.

It was referred to the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee, and I am hopeful to have a hearing soon!

As this legislative session gets underway, I welcome your input on legislation and want to hear more about issues important to you. Please don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting, call my office or send me an email. I am here to serve you!

It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol.