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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sandy Layman (R)

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News From Representative Layman 5-26-2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

You’ve probably seen plenty of Capitol coverage in the last week, but I’m happy to report that we finished our bipartisan state budget early this morning. After a full regular session and a three-day round-the-clock special session, there’s plenty of highlights to share!

First, we delivered on our promise to provide middle class tax relief as we approved a $650 million tax relief proposal. This will go to help senior citizens, working families, recent college graduates, small business owners, and so many more. It’s an important piece of legislation to return some of our budget surplus to Minnesotans.

We also passed a bipartisan transportation bill that included a multi-billion investment in roads and bridges WITHOUT raising taxes. With a surplus, it’s important for us to provide this basic function of state government without adding to the tax burden of Minnesota families.

Contained in a number of the budget bills were provisions I was fortunate to author 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 Performing Arts Center, and the Children's Discovery Museum

Since I first served as a citizen member (and, later, commissioner) of the IRRRB, I’ve been working to decrease the constitutionality questions surrounding the board. I’m proud to work across the aisle for this provision, and expect the governor to sign it into law. It’s a small step, but important to further the effectiveness of the IRRRB.

The legislature accomplished so much this session, including providing middle class tax relief, road and bridge funding, more money for local schools, and policy reforms that support our natural resource-based industries. Our budget represents a hard-fought compromise, and addresses the needs of Minnesotans.

Have a good weekend, and please remember the men and women who lost their lives serving our country. We owe them so much, it’s important we honor them on Memorial Day and throughout the year.

I’ll be in contact throughout the summer, but, until then, enjoy the break from legislative activity!

Sandy

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