ST. PAUL, MN—On Friday, the Minnesota House of Representatives concluded the special session, passing the final bills that comprise the 2018-2019 biennium budget. In all, the legislature passed seven bills during special session: Taxes, Transportation, State Government, Health and Human Services, K-12 Education, Bonding, and Labor Standards.
“The legislature accomplished so much this session, including providing middle class tax relief, road and bridge funding, and more money for local schools,” said Rep. Sandy Layman, R-Cohasset. “Our budget represents a true compromise, and addresses the needs of Minnesotans. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to complete a balanced budget that focuses on tax relief, transportation funding, and supporting our students.”
The Republican-led tax bill will mean more than $650 million in tax relief—the largest tax cut in nearly two decades—for Minnesota families in the 2018-2019 biennium and three-quarters of a billion dollars in tax relief in the 2020-2021 biennium. It includes relief for seniors on social security, college graduates with student loan debt, and property tax relief for farmers and Minnesota businesses. In addition, Republicans championed and the legislature approved the largest investment in road and bridge infrastructure in a state history without an increase in the gas tax or license tab fees.
Contained in a number of the budget bills were provisions authored by Rep. Layman including:
- Governance changes to the IRRRB
- A fix for the Blandin Paper property tax lawsuit
- Sustainable Forest Incentives Act reform
- $1 million for a local competitive rail study
- Funding for the Grand Rapids pedestrian bridge, the Myles Reif Center for the Performing Arts, and Children's Discovery Museum
“These provisions are big victories for folks throughout the district,” said Layman. “We passed funding for important projects in our area, and made changes to address some of the constitutionality questions surrounding the IRRRB. In all, I’m grateful for all the calls and emails to help get these provisions in our final budget proposals.”
During regular session, the legislature passed budget bills for Public Safety, Higher Education, Jobs & Energy Affordability, Agriculture, and Environment and Natural Resources. Altogether, the legislature is sending ten budget bills, a $995 million bonding bill, a labor standards bill to the governor’s desk for his signature.