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

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Legislative Update (March 2, 2018)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Happy Friday!  With session concluding its second week, I wanted to send out a quick update of what’s going on at the Capitol.

State Budget Forecast
Earlier this week, state economists from Minnesota Management & Budget announced a $329 million state budget surplus.  This surplus is an over half-billion dollar improvement from the $188 million budget deficit projected by the agency in November.  This forecast demonstrates that recently enacted tax cuts have helped create a thriving Minnesota economy.  Given this surplus, I intend to advocate for legislation that will provide further tax relief as well as make targeted investments where additional funding is necessary.  In the months ahead, my fellow legislators and I will look to build on the progress we made last year by again prioritizing important issues such as tax relief, healthcare reforms, and bonding projects. 

House File 2099
My bill, House File 2099, received a hearing this week in the House Taxes Committee.  This legislation would provide a sales tax exemption for the construction of a warehouse, distribution, and office building, for the non-profit Second Harvest Heartland food bank.  This bill removes burdensome sales taxes and better allows this organization to carry out its important work combatting hunger in our state.  I am proud to author this legislation and will be sure to keep you updated as this bill works its way through the legislative process.

There were two important bills unveiled this week regarding the broken MNLARS system.  The first bill would allow Governor Dayton to use $10 million (which the administration has requested to continue its efforts) from existing state agency funding to fix MNLARS.  By using funds already in state government, this commonsense approach protects Minnesota’s taxpayers from footing the bill once again.  The other bill would direct the Commissioner of Public Safety to examine using a private sector company to overhaul MNLARS, instead of again turning to the same government agency that has repeatedly failed to provide meaningful solutions to these ongoing problems.  Minnesotans deserve a working DMV system, and we are committed to continuing to ensure the agency provides strong assurances and detailed plans before we blindly provide additional funding.

“Be Ready for B20” Workshop
On March 21st, from 8:30 to 11:30am, there will be a meeting on Minnesota’s new biodiesel requirement at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Rochester (2870 59th St. NW).  I would like to encourage diesel retailers, distributors, fleets, farmers, and anyone else that is interested, to attend this meeting in order to obtain additional information on the matter.  With Minnesota implementing a new 20% biodiesel requirement effective May 1st, it is important that stakeholders are able to learn as much as possible about the change so they can be ready to smoothly move forward.  The goal of this workshop, which is sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean and Research Council, is to help the industry prepare for the state’s biodiesel requirement change, as well as understand the benefits and impact of the fuel.  Please RSVP to 952-473-0044 or if you are interested in attending.

Please Contact Me
If you ever have any questions or concerns about any state government matter, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email.  I value the input I receive from our community and I’d love to hear your opinion on any legislative topic.

Have a great weekend.


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