Hello Friends and Neighbors,
I'd like to wish you and your family a Happy Easter and a wonderful Passover. I hope you are able to enjoy some time celebrating this weekend with your loved ones.
My colleagues and I are wrapping up another busy deadline week at the legislature today. There will be no legislative business at the Capitol next week, as legislators are off for the Easter/Passover break. When we return, we will start to spend more time in floor sessions as we debate bills that have made it through the committee process and have the chance to ultimately be signed into law.
In this update, I want to share a few comments on the School Safety Package, the Governor’s Budget proposal and our work on Tax Conformity.
Earlier today, we unveiled our legislative package aimed at putting student safety first. Our multifaceted approach includes more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide. This allows for the hiring of more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals, in addition to making critical building security upgrades. I am proud to have my proposal for increased funding in the Safe Schools Levy and equalization for rural schools included in this package. I’d like to publicly thank Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman and many of our area School Superintendents who provided their insights and recommendations to me in working on this piece of legislation.
Governor’s Supplemental Budget Proposal
Governor Dayton recently released his supplemental budget proposal for the remainder of session. The Governor’s proposed budget includes fee increases on DMV fees to provide more funding for fixes to the troubled MNLARS system, as well as a $1 billion tax increase on Minnesotans’ doctor visits by continuing the provider tax. Furthermore, the proposal indicates the intention to reverse some of the tax relief provisions signed into law last session. Simply stated, I believe it would be irresponsible to ask Minnesotans to pay more in taxes and fees when our state has a budget surplus exceeding $300 million.
Nonetheless, I was pleased to hear his commitment to prioritize improvements in school safety as well as funding for school-linked mental health grants. I also support his proposal for the badly needed funding to help deputy registrars across the state that have been hurt by MNLARS complications. I am optimistic for a productive session working with the Governor on these important issues.
Federal Tax Conformity
An issue that is at the forefront of the legislature’s work this session is federal tax conformity. The House tax committee has held numerous hearings and done extensive research in order determine the best plan to conform to the recently changed federal tax code. In the coming weeks, House Republicans will complete a tax conformity proposal to allow Minnesotans to smoothly file their taxes in the years to come. A key component of our proposal will be the assurance that any additional revenue generated by conforming is returned to the hardworking taxpayers of Minnesota.
Photos from Committee Testimony and Capitol Events
Reading to children in the Capitol Rotunda during MinneMinds Advocacy for Children Day.
Presenting the bonding request for the National Eagle Center with Wabasha Mayor Rollin Hall and NEC Director Rolf Thompson
Presenting my health insurance cost disparities bill with Bob and Marlene Banks, Banks Outdoor and Strike Tool, Cannon Falls
Presenting the Safe Schools Levy bill with Police Chief Roger Pohlman.
Presenting the Educational Partnership Coalition bill with Muneer Karcher-Ramos and Rasheda Jenkins
Staying In Touch
As always, if you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding anything related to state government, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.