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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 12, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

House Image

Yesterday was Statehood Day. Minnesota became the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858.

Here is a photo of Rep. Rick Hansen and I taking a photo with our phones of the Capitol chandelier, which is traditionally lit once a year on Statehood Day. The photo was taken by House photographer Andrew VonBank.

House Image

Hanging out with Bill Ding at the Homes for All Rally

Legislative Updates

We are quickly approaching the legislative session adjournment deadline of May 22. Legislative leaders and Governor Dayton are engaged in budget talks, working on a compromise to end the 2017 session on time.

Budget Negotiations

The House and Senate Republican majorities are still far apart from Governor Dayton in their budget offers. This morning, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the following five bills:

Chapter 41, SF 780: This is the omnibus agriculture finance bill. To read Governor Dayton’s veto letter, click here.

Chapter 42, HF 888: This is the omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill. To read Governor Dayton’s veto letter, click here.

Chapter 43, HF 890: This is the omnibus E-12 education finance bill. To read Governor Dayton’s veto letter, click here.

Chapter 44, SF605: This is the omnibus state government, military and veterans affairs finance bill. To read Governor Dayton’s veto letter, click here.

Chapter 45, SF 800: This is the omnibus health and human services finance bill. To read Governor Dayton’s veto letter, click here.

With only eleven days left of the Session, I’ll continue to be engaged with our legislative leaders and Governor Dayton as we work for a compromise that prioritizes the things Minnesotans value in order to build a better future for everyone.

Reduction to Local Government Aid

On Wednesday, the House passed the Conference Committee Report (CCR) for the Omnibus Taxes Bill 76-57 along party lines. The CCR included a one-time appropriation of $6 million for Local Government Aid (LGA) in 2018, of which the City of Minneapolis will receive only $428,320. This is significantly less than the Governor’s proposal of $1,581,765 for the City of Minneapolis.

Underfunding Higher Education Grants

Governor Mark Dayton is proposing a $62 million investment in the State Grant Program, but the Republicans would leave thousands of college students ineligible for State Grant assistance.

See the document attached to this email to understand what this funding would mean for students in colleges and universities across Minnesota.

General Fund

State general fund revenues were $86 million below forecast amounts for April 2017.

The latest Department of Management and Budget (MMB) information compares actual receipts for April to receipts forecasted by the February 2017 general fund forecast.

In addition to this negative $86 million for April, revenues for February and March of 2017 were $23 million above the forecasted amount. So the cumulative change in revenue since the February forecast for fiscal year 2017 is a negative $63 million.

The net $86 million negative variance for April is the sum of the variances in several areas. The chart below reflects the forecasted amount, actual revenue and the difference (dollars are in millions).

 

Forecast

Actual

Difference

Individual income tax

$1,851

$1,689

-$161

Sales tax

422

423

0

Corporate income tax

65

138

75

Other revenues

167

168

1

Total

$2,505

$2,419

-$86

The Office of Minnesota Management and Budget cautions that monthly revenue numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

April is the month when most individual income tax returns with payments are received and processed. MMB reports that the combination of payments and refunds connected to 2016 income tax returns is about $142 million less than forecast.

While corporate tax revenue was above forecast in April, it was $46 million below forecast in February and March.

News and Upcoming Opportunities

Infectious Diseases

There has been a recent outbreak of infectious diseases that includes measles, tuberculosis (TB), and mumps. Please see the attached documents to learn more about these diseases and how you can protect yourself and your family.

Northside Food Trucks

NEON and Appetite for Change teamed up to address the lack of food options in North Minneapolis through the Eat on the Avenue initiative. Starting yesterday, food trucks will line up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday until September 28 on West Broadway Avenue to bring more dining options to the Northside.

You can find MPR News’ coverage here.

Join the Minnesota Youth Council

The Minnesota Youth Council (MYC) is looking for young people in 8th-12th grades who are passionate about issues facing youth in Minnesota today. The MYC is now accepting applications for 2017-18 in all 8 Congressional Districts!

The priority deadline for applications is Monday, May 22nd, 2017. I strongly encourage students who will be in the 8th, 9th and 10th grades in 2017-18 to apply! Applications will be accepted until all seats are filled.

You can apply here.

Here are some things you will be involved in if you join the MYC:

  • Hear testimony and vote on real bills as a member of the only legislatively mandated voice of youth to a state legislature in the country.
  • Work with a diverse, statewide, youth-driven group to increase youth and student power on issues decided by students.
  • Learn and practice organizing and policy analysis skills and much more.

If you have any questions, please contact Shakur Ali at sali@mnyouth.net (651-528-9399) or Bailey Boelter at bboelter@mnyouth.net (651-788-1530).

I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you!