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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Abigail Whelan (R)

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Legislative Update (1-16-15)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

The first full week of the 2015 session is officially in the books.  I am excited to share with you some of what took place this week as well as invite you to an upcoming event taking place in Anoka.

House Republicans Set 2015 Priorities

Last Thursday, House Republicans introduced the session’s first five bills.  These initial pieces of legislation will serve as a framework for a statewide discussion on how we approach the problems that matter most to Minnesotans.  The priorities include growing better-paying jobs in all regions of the state, giving every child a world-class education, protecting the quality of life for our aging residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, refocusing budget dollars towards road and bridge repair, and ensuring quality and fair health care access for all Minnesotans.  I look forward to continuing our conversation with Minnesota as the session progresses.

Committees Begin

The Capitol was buzzing with activity as committees kicked into full gear this week.  While I am honored to serve on four committees, I am most looking forward to the Transportation Policy and Finance Committee and the opportunity to work on expanding Highway 10 in Anoka County.  Highway 10 is one of the most important issues affecting our district.  Those of us who live in the northwest metro know that Highway 10 is in dire need of an additional lane of traffic, among other things, to help improve traffic flow. 

That’s why the first bill that I signed aims to improve traffic flow on Highway 10.  House File 157 allocates funds to construct an additional lane, in each direction, on Highway 10 from the Hanson Boulevard interchange to the Round Lake interchange.  I am hopeful that this bill, with our hard work, will become law and offer those of us who use Highway 10 so frequently some much needed relief from traffic congestion.

Additionally, I am currently in conversation with our local leaders and others on the Transportation Committee regarding other Highway 10 priorities such as the interchange between Fairoak in Anoka and Ramsey Boulevard in Ramsey.

Federal Tax Conformity

On Thursday of this week, the House passed its first bill of the session.  HF 6 conforms Minnesota’s tax code to some of the federal tax changes made since 2013 as it pertains to items in tax year 2014.  In total, this bill provides $19.9 million in immediate tax relief to hardworking Minnesotans for the recently concluded tax year.  Deductions for higher education tuition, teacher classroom expenses, and mortgage insurance premiums are among the items included in this bill.  Hardworking Minnesotans already pay enough in taxes, and I am happy that the first bill our new majority in the House passed leaves more money in the pockets of our state’s taxpayers.

Mark Your Calendars

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Chair of the House Property Tax Committee, and I will be hosting a property tax listening session February 2nd at the Rum River Branch Library, 4201 6th Avenue, in Anoka from 6:00-7:30.  I encourage you and your neighbors to attend this session to voice your views on property tax issues in our community.  Please keep an eye on future email updates as well as local media as more information regarding this event is made available. 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns regarding legislation or events taking place that the Capitol.  It would be an honor to speak with you to discuss your ideas on how we can make state government work better for you.  I can be reached by phone at 651-296-1729 or via email at


Best Regards,