The end of this week marks the deadline for committee hearings in both the House and Senate on policy related bills. We have completed the first major milestone of this legislative session. A broad update on what I have been working on so far is in order.
As chief author, I have presented a number of policy bills including:
- Phasing out the state income tax on social security retirement benefits
- Reducing the state general business tax
- Shifting existing sales taxes on auto/truck repair parts to dedicated transportation funding
- Providing regulatory certainty for city sewage treatment plants
- Increasing the payment in lieu of taxes on tax forfeited lands
- Adjusting assessor accreditation requirements
- Authorizing various tax forfeited land sales
- Authorizing a local use sales tax for the Garrison, Kathio, West Mille Lacs Lake Sanitary district
- Creating a recognition day for General John Vessey
The majority of this legislation will be added into larger, comprehensive bills based on the subject matter.
Another group of bills I am working on as chief author involve budget appropriations including:
- State parks and trails bonding for the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area and the Northwoods ATV Trail connection
- Appropriations for aquatic invasive species work
- Snowmobile and ATV trails and forest road maintenance
- Natural Resources Research Institute funding
As a co-author, I am also involved in a wide range of other legislation including:
- Real ID
- Broadband funding
- Health care and insurance issues
- Increased penalty for school bus stop arm violations
- Child out of home placement costs, mental health issues
- Health professional scholarships
- Disabled and senior in home care and group home funding
- Road ditch buffers and mowing rules
- MPCA regulatory reform
- School trust land management
- IRRRB organizational changes
- Veterans support and sanctity of life issues
Click here for complete details on bills I am the chief author of, or click here for the rundown on legislation I am co-authoring.
Later today, Gov. Dayton is scheduled to release his revised state budget proposal. That will take into account the economic forecast issued earlier this month. With the governor’s revised budget proposal on deck and the heavy lifting completed in the policy committees, we will turn our full attention to developing the details of each state agency budget.
You can look forward to a spirited debate on how your tax dollars will be spent, including how much should be returned to you through tax reform in the area of state levied taxes on social security retirement benefits and small business.