The House majority continued approving its supplemental budget spending proposals this week. Though all of these giant omnibus were ultimately passed by the House majority on a partisan vote, it is important to know that none of these will be the final legislation passed into law. They will all move on to a conference committee, where an equal number of representatives and senators will work on a compromise proposal that can be approved by both legislative bodies. The House and Senate will then have the opportunity to vote on the new agreement.
We have two weeks left of the 2021-22 legislative session, which ends at midnight on Monday, May 23rd. Lots to happen before that deadline!
LOCAL EMPLOYER TAX INCREASE HAS ENDED
Local employers have received some good news. A plan that addressed Minnesota’s unemployment insurance (UI) trust fund deficit and other items has now been signed into law. I voted in favor of the measure.
Regarding the UI trust fund portion of the bill, you’ll recall that after Governor Walz required businesses to close at the start of the pandemic, thousands were forced to go on unemployment which left the UI trust fund bare. The federal government gave us a loan to help replenish it, but Minnesota needed to pay that loan back. Without a funding source to repay the debt, the default option became a 15% or more tax increase on local employers.
As part of a compromise plan brokered between the Minnesota House and Senate, Minnesota’s UI trust fund has been replenished and the tax increase that had been forced on our job providers has been eliminated. The funding sources for all components of the agreement come in part from federal Covid dollars provided to Minnesota and the state surplus. Taking this agreement into account, our state surplus now stands at roughly $7 billion.
This is definitely good news for the men and women who operate businesses in our area and keep our communities thriving. Our state promised employers that they would not be penalized for being forced to lay off employees during the Governor’s lockdowns and our state needed to follow through on that promise. Though it would have more advantageous for all had this been accomplished over two months ago when the Senate passed this provision, I am happy that it has finally passed.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has established a site to help employers understand how the approved legislation will affect them. Visit: https://mn.gov/uimn/employers/employer-account/news-updates/tax-changes-affect-you.jsp for more information.
This final agreement also addressed bonus checks for eligible COVID-19 front line workers. To determine if you are eligible, or to learn more about it, visit: https://frontlinepay.mn.gov/.
GLENVILLE-EMMONS SENIOR TEA
I had the pleasure of joining the Glenville-Emmons seniors, along with many of their mothers, as guest speaker for their senior tea. I shared some things I’ve learned from life as both a teacher and state representative. I always love being able to spend time with young people. I wish these seniors and all the graduating seniors from our area the very best as they move on to a new stage in their lives!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!