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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Legislative Update: January 13, 2023

Friday, January 13, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

The second week of the legislative session is in the books, and we have been busy fulfilling our commitment to the people of Minnesota. This week, House committees were busy with the first bills of session, including several pieces of legislation I have authored.

Here’s an update from Saint Paul.

Passing Tax Conformity

Throughout my time in the House, I have been dedicated to ensuring Minnesota working families are given a level playing field. This week, the Minnesota House passed an early federal tax conformity bill, which will result in over $100 million in tax cuts to a wide range of Minnesotans while simplifying future tax filings. This efficient and unified action is just the beginning of an effective legislative session under House DFL leadership, especially as we engage in a broader discussion about taxes. There are a lot of ideas out there and we will take a hard look at all of them.

One such idea that I hear about frequently is the tax on Social Security benefits.  Minnesota is one of only a dozen states that have any tax on Social Security benefits.  While most people who receive Social Security benefits already do not pay taxes on those benefits (existing Minnesota tax law subtracts Social Security benefits from taxable income for people making less than roughly $60,000), it is time for this tax to go in its entirety.  I have long supported complete repeal, and am co-authoring a bill to do just that this year. 

Preventing Price Gouging in Minnesota

Minnesotans deserve to be protected from bad actors seeking to profit off of the needs and fears of others in a time of crisis. This week, I brought forth my bill to prohibit price gouging during times of declared disasters and emergencies. Price gouging is a morally repugnant practice that hurts those who have been most impacted by this public health crisis; it’s time for our state to stand up for each other and hold bad actors accountable.  You can read coverage of the Commerce Committee hearing here.

The legislation now goes to the Judiciary Committee for approval.

Rep. Stephenson

Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis Receives Hearing

On Wednesday, my legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis received its first hearing in the Commerce Committee, where it got support to move forward.

For years, the DFL has thoroughly engaged in conversations with folks around the state and carefully vetted proposals to create the best marketplace for Minnesota. Our legislation is vetted, safe, and grounded in the core belief that Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make responsible decisions about cannabis decisions themselves. This bill now goes to the Judiciary Committee.

We held a press conference on this issue on January 5th. You can watch it here.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime if you need assistance or have questions at or 651-296-5513.

It’s an honor to represent our Coon Rapids and Anoka families in St. Paul.


Rep. Zack Stephenson

Minnesota House of Representatives