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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Liz Olson (DFL)

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RELEASE: Reps. Olson and Schultz vote to address rising costs, protect workers, and create economic opportunities

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the House approved its Tax bill with a package of new tax credits and rebates to help Minnesotans who are struggling with rising costs. The majority of the benefits in the House DFL tax bill go to families with young children, senior citizens living on fixed incomes, and people with student loan debt. The House also passed a Workforce and Labor bill to, among other things, deliver resources to working Minnesotans, fund training and workforce development, invest in struggling small businesses and economic corridors throughout the state, and keep workers safe on the job.

“House DFLers know the struggles Minnesotans are facing with rising costs every day. That’s why we’re fully committed to targeting resources from our budget surplus toward those who can use the help the most – families with young children, senior citizens living on fixed incomes, and people with student loan debt,” said Rep. Liz Olson (DFL – Duluth). “The legislation we’re advancing today responds to the challenges Minnesotans are facing right now, and the solutions will help everyone have the opportunity to succeed and prosper into the future.”

“All Minnesotans deserve economic security, including good jobs, with fair pay and benefits, truly valuing their contributions,” said Rep. Jen Schultz (DFL – Duluth). “As our economy recovers from the pandemic, too many Minnesotans aren’t keeping pace with the profits large corporations continue to make and are struggling to make ends meet, confronting rising costs every day, including their rent and mortgage, health care, energy, food and more. House DFLers are meeting this moment by leveling the playing field, delivering solutions workers, families, and older Minnesotans are counting on.”

The House Workforce and Labor bill includes Rep. Olson’s bill requiring employers to provide workers Earned Sick and Safe Time. The legislation would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year. The bill also includes her proposal to deliver $4 million building upon a program encouraging local partners to develop a plan to increase the supply of child care providers.

Rep. Schultz’s legislation to limit non-compete employment agreements is also included. The agreements restrict an employee’s ability to work when they leave an employer, often harming low- and middle-income workers, resulting in lower wages, less worker mobility, and less innovation and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, the legislation contains $207 million in investments aimed at promoting workforce and business development. With the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund replenished, the legislation also expands this safety net so Minnesota’s hourly school workers can have the same economic security as their colleagues. A fact sheet about the bill is available here.

The House DFL tax bill reduces the cost of child care by providing a “Great Start Child Care Credit” of up to $3,000 for each child under five years of age, capped at $7,500 in total tax credits. It also provides a one-time “Child Tax Credit Rebate” of $325 for each child under 17 years of age. Additionally, it would reduce the cost of housing by making the biggest investment in property tax refunds and renter’s credits in decades. Democrats’ proposal expands eligibility and benefits, and makes it easier for filers to apply. As a result, more than 150,000 additional renters will qualify, with an average benefit of $700. Statewide, 30% of renter’s credit recipients are seniors or people with disabilities. In addition, more than 1.3 million homesteads that currently qualify for the market value exclusion will see an increased exclusion. A fact sheet about the bill is available here.

Video of today’s floor session will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.