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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL)

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Legislative Update- April 11, 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
 
Committees are wrapping up their work on final budget bills and our focus will soon shift toward longer floor sessions.
 
Here’s an update from the Capitol:
 

‘Hands Free’ Device Legislation Update

With my support, the Minnesota House passed the final, compromise ‘hands free’ bill on Tuesday after differences were reconciled with the Minnesota Senate. The Governor is expected to sign the bill this week, making Minnesota the 17th state, including the District of Columbia, to require hands-free devices while driving. I’m glad we could pass this long overdue bill in a bipartisan fashion to help make our roadways safer for everyone. Minnesota Public Radio covered the vote here.

Governor Walz’s State of the State Address

On Wednesday, April 3rd Governor Tim Walz delivered his first-ever State of the State Address. Speaking on the floor of the Minnesota House Chamber, Gov. Walz played the role of storyteller and shared the hopes, dreams, and challenges of our neighbors and communities across Minnesota. He told specific personal stories of Minnesotans that he knows and has recently met, including small business owners, working families, veterans, and more.

The Star Tribune’s coverage of the address is here.

New Tax Bill Levels Playing Field, Simplifies Filing Process

The House Majority’s new tax bill was announced on Monday. It closes corporate tax loopholes, ends the tax on social security for over 200,000 Minnesotans, and invests three-fourths of the new revenue raised into E-12 education, and the remaining fourth into higher-education to allow for a two-year tuition freeze. By targeting corporate tax havens and making sure big corporations pay their fair share, the investments in our schools and senior citizens that Minnesotans have asked for are possible.
 
The tax bill levels the playing field for working families, senior citizens, farmers and small businesses. Most Minnesota taxpayers will now take the higher standard deduction, which greatly simplifies the preparation process.

The Star Tribune has a story about the new House tax bill here. For even more specifics, check out a fact sheet here.
 

Upcoming Opportunities to Connect in-district

This coming week is “Spring Break” at the Capitol which will give me a long overdue opportunity to spend some time speaking with constituents back in the district.
 

Isaiah Legislative Forum for a Caring Economy and Inclusive Democracy

  • Sunday, April 14 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at Edina Morningside Community Church, 4201 Morningside Rd, Edina, MN 55416. You can learn more, here.

Drop-In Sessions: Stop by at your convenience for coffee and donuts to let me know what’s on your mind! 

  • Tuesday, April 16th from 7:30 am to 9:00 am at West Side Perk in Bloomington, 7700 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
  • Thursday, April 18th from 7:30 am to 9:00 am at YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar in Minnetonka, 5757 Sanibel Dr, Minnetonka, MN 55343

Sierra Club Town Hall on Clean Energy and Transportation

  • Thursday, April 18 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Northstar Tavern in Bloomington, 5101 W 98th Street, Bloomington, MN 55437. You can learn more here.
Keep in Touch
Please never hesitate to reach out with questions, comments or feedback on the state budget, or other issues of concern.
 
I value your input and appreciate hearing from you.
 
Sincerely,
Steve Elkins
State Representative
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