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

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Legislative Update (May 4, 2018)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

This week at the legislature was filled with long floor sessions as the House debated and approved multiple omnibus bills covering various policy areas.  Here’s a quick update from the Capitol with some news and information about some of the legislation that was passed. 

House Passes Tax Bill

On Monday, the House passed bipartisan tax legislation to simplify Minnesota’s tax code to allow filers to fully benefit from federal tax reform and provide additional tax relief to middle-class Minnesotans.  The bill delivers significant tax relief for middle-class families by reducing the second tier income tax rate.  This historic tax reduction would be Minnesota’s first income tax rate cut in nearly 20 years, and would result in over 2.1 million Minnesota filers seeing a tax reduction.  I was proud to vote in favor of this bill which will allow Minnesotans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Some specific changes in the bill include cutting the second tier income tax rate from 7.05% to 6.75% by tax year 2020; lowering taxes for people at all income levels by increasing the standard deduction from $13,000 to $14,000; protecting families by preserving a state personal and dependent exemption of $4,150; and encouraging affordable homeownership by allowing a state-itemized deduction of up to $30,000 in property taxes.

Also included in the tax legislation is a provision that I originally authored.  This component of the bill provides a sales tax exemption for the materials that will be used in the construction of a new distribution facility for the non-profit Second Harvest Heartland food bank.  Removing this sales tax will allow this organization to best carry out its important work fighting hunger in our state. 

Omnibus Budget Bills

In addition to the tax bill, the House passed a number of other omnibus budget bills this week.  These bills are focused on policies that will positively benefit Minnesotans, such as significant transportation investments and tackling health care costs.  

Highlights of these bills include:

  • Providing $385 million for transportation needs this year, using surplus funds leveraged with trunk highway bonds to repair and improve our roads and bridges
  • Reinstating the 7 percent cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System to prevent a wage reduction for those that care for our disabled community
  • Addressing vulnerable adult abuse and neglect, strengthening the tools the state can use against perpetrators of abuse and holding state agencies accountable for their shortcomings on maltreatment investigations
  • Cutting the MNsure tax on health plans to help lower health care costs for Minnesotans
  • Combatting the opioid epidemic
  • Implementing reforms to reduce potential fraud and waste in our public health care system
  • Requires nitrogen fertilizer rules proposed by the Department of Agriculture to have legislative approval
  • $35 million in bonding revenue for farmer loans through Rural Finance Authority
  • Strengthening and closing loopholes in Minnesota law surrounding criminal sexual conduct
  • Funding three new veterans homes in Minnesota with excess Stadium Reserve Funds
  • Requiring state agencies to spend 3.5 percent of their IT budget to support state cybersecurity
  • Closing loopholes regarding the operation of a snowmobile or ATV for those who have been convicted of a DWI

There are a lot of important provisions that will benefit Minnesota’s taxpayers and families in our supplemental budget adjustment bills.  In the final few weeks of session, I look forward to finding compromise with Governor Dayton and the Senate on these issues.

At the Capitol

Had a great time meeting up with 4th graders from Schaeffer Academy during their visit to the Capitol this week.

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Please Contact Me

Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts on the issues that will be coming before me for votes on the House floor in the final weeks of session.  You can reach me via phone at (651) 296-4378 or via email at

Have a great weekend.


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