First, I’d like to congratulate all of our graduating seniors! It’s a fun time of year where we honor our students for starting this new chapter in their life. To our seniors; congrats, and for our teachers, thank you for all that you do!
As we head into summer, I wanted to keep you updated on what’s happening in St. Paul. You probably remember from my last update, the House and Senate passed a tax relief bill with wide bipartisan support, and the governor declined to sign it into law. With a vote of 123-10 in the House, it seemed obvious both parties agreed on this bill.
Since the bill isn’t signed, I’m hopeful the governor will call a special session to take care of the one-word error. If we re-pass the bill in the next couple weeks, we can make this bill become law by the standard July 1 deadline. Among the $800 million in tax relief, $90 million would go to farmers, $146 million for every small business in the state, $32 million to reduce childcare costs, and $110 million for college grads paying off student debt. It’s a plan targeted toward middle-class Minnesotans, and needs to be signed by the governor to give families needed relief.
Because the Senate attempted to add a last-minute amendment to a bipartisan bonding/transportation bill passed by the House, they ran out of time, killing this funding. This bill is also under consideration for a special session. I wrote a section of the bill to allocate funds for a Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota in Olmsted County. Students with dyslexia need an avenue to learn in their own way, and this facility would afford them that chance.
I also authored a second provision in this legislation to provide funding for the Rochester International Airport to help keep their “international designation”. These funds are needed by July 1, or we risk losing this title. Rochester is a major hub of transportation, business, and medicine, and we need to help keep our airport open to the rest of the world. At a recent event in Rochester, I mentioned how great this need is for our area.
I’ll keep you updated as we know more about a possible special session. I hope we can come to an agreement on these bills, but also know the governor should, at the minimum, call the Legislature back to make the small change, and provide $800 million in tax relief for our state.
If you have questions about special session, or any of the aforementioned bills, feel free to contact me and I’ll get back to you.
Have a great weekend, and congrats, graduates!