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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nels Pierson (R)

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Legislative Update (May 27, 2016)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

The Legislature adjourned late Sunday evening, and I want to give you an update on what took place over the weekend.

Middle-Class Tax Relief

On Sunday, the House and Senate passed a bill to provide $800 million of tax relief over the next three years. Our proposal provides relief for farmers, small business owners, and middle-class families, among others. $90 million will be used to provide property tax relief for farmers, $150 million to expand the working family tax credit, and $146 million to reducing property taxes for EVERY small business in Minnesota.

The governor hasn’t signed the bill yet, but it passed on a bipartisan vote of 123-10, so I’m hopeful he’ll add his signature and these tax cuts will become law.

Bonding and Transportation

One of the last bills we discussed during session was a proposal to invest $700 million in roads and bridges throughout the state. Also included in the bill were provisions related to bonding that would significantly help our area. I advocated for the inclusion of the following provisions in the bill:

  • $5 million for Rochester International Airport
  • $1.5 million for the Olmsted County Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota facility
  • $85 million for Highway 14
  • $12.5 million for Small Cities Road Assistance, a new program established by House Republicans in 2015
  • Funds for township road repairs

Unfortunately, when the Senate received the bill, they put politics before Minnesotans. Instead of passing the language agreed upon by the House and Senate, metro Democrats added an amendment to fund another light rail train in Minneapolis. Because of the rogue amendment, the Senate ran out of time and killed this important bill.

It’s disappointing to see politics get in the way of helping residents of our state. On Wednesday, I joined a bipartisan group of legislators to urge the governor to call a special session so we can re-pass this bill, and fund needed projects like Highway 14.

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Memorial Day

While the long weekend is a chance to spend time with loved ones, it’s important to remember those who lost their lives in the service of our country. This ultimate sacrifice is difficult to imagine, but something we need to recognize and honor. Please, take a moment over the weekend to give thanks to these brave men and women for our freedom and liberty.

Please Contact Me

Although we’re out of session, I hope you’ll continue to contact me whenever you have a question or concern. I always make time to chat with residents of our area, and can’t wait to hear from you.


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