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Koznick Connection: Legislative Update (March 25, 2021)

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

We are just past the midway point of the 2021 legislative session, and sadly this is the House’s least productive start dating back to at least the early 90s, with just five bills approved through the first 10 weeks. 

This is especially frustrating because there are numerous time sensitive issues that Minnesotans are waiting for the legislature to act on.

That’s why House Republicans took action this week to try to start moving some crucial, time-sensitive bills related to Paycheck Protection Program tax relief, Unemployment Insurance tax relief, and summer learning. These issues should not be partisan ones and, in fact, most legislators agree that these bill should pass.

Here is a look at three bills that warrant prompt approval: 

  • Employer tax relief: this bill would prevent tax hikes on Minnesota businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. A lack of action is causing problems for businesses in Lakeville and Dakota County, as some of our local business owners will be forced to pay thousands and tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected tax bills. These loans are 100% forgivable and are not taxed by the federal government. We need to provide a quick fix to make sure these loans are exempted from state taxes too.
  • Worker tax relief: this proposal targets those who lost their jobs last year and now have big tax bills because of the extra Unemployment Insurance (UI) relief money they received. It would exclude the first $10,200 of unemployment pay from income tax in the year 2020 and assures that the $600 and $300 federal relief unemployment bonuses will not be taxed by Minnesota. 
  • Funding summer school: this bill would make money available immediately for in-person summer school opportunities so districts can begin to plan for programming. This proposal defrays the costs of in-person learning, funds student mental health as well as early learning scholarships, and allows the flexibility of local control so schools can meet the needs of their students. 

Sadly, the Democrat majority failed to provide the votes needed for these bills to move forward. For whatever reason, they remain paralyzed and appear unwilling to lead.

Lakeville voters sent me to St. Paul to be their voice and to get things done for our community and the state. Voters deserve honest leadership from their elected officials.

It’s time to lead.

Report on Driver Examination Station Wait Times, Bill introduced

This week, the nonpartisan Legislative Auditor released a report that found the State of Minnesota has struggled to meet the legal requirement that individuals be able to take a road test within 14 days of requesting one.

The report revealed what so many moms and dads have known for months—Minnesota’s driver examination system is fundamentally broken and has been horribly mismanaged. While it is encouraging that DVS has streamlined systems and worked through a backlog of test, there is still a lot more work to do including additional oversight of the program.

Instead of simply studying the issue as Democrats wanted, I am pleased that we were able to make sure that an in-depth investigation into the problems was conducted by the legislative auditor as these findings will help guide us as we consider next steps. I have again introduced a bill to expand options for third party testers.

There is good reason that Minnesota should be one of 17 states to offer third party driver test options. Taxpayers deserve a government that provides adequate customer service for a basic government function and parents should not have to rely on luck to get their student a driving exam in a timely manner.

I spoke with KSTP about this issue. You can watch a clip of that news story by clicking here or the photo below.


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Wishing you a healthy, happy spring and more blessings heading into Holy Week.  I look forward to seeing some of you supporting our local businesses.


Jon Koznick
State Representative, Lakeville, 58A