It’s been a pleasure seeing so many local people out and about attending events in our area this summer, including the 2023 Carlton County Fair that is now in the books.
It was an honor paying tribute to our American heroes and their families during a flag-raising ceremony at the fair:
And I enjoyed the opportunity to deliver the invocation at the fair's horse races:
As for notes from the House of Representatives:
Nursing homes receive funding increase
Nursing homes in House District 11A have begun receiving shares of the $300 million infusion of state funding fellow House Republicans and I championed and the Legislature provided last May.
Interfaith Care Center in Carlton ($546,321), Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet ($401,727) and Moose Lake Village in Moose Lake ($514,189) received the first half of those funding totals earlier this month, with the second half due Aug. 1, 2024.
This additional funding will be a big help for our local facilities that we count on so much to provide services for our loved ones. Our nursing homes have been struggling, with nursing homes closing across the state and others on the financial brink. Families are waiting months and searching up to four hours away to find a safe place for loved ones, while a worker shortage has left around 25 percent of nursing home caregiver jobs vacant. Reports show more than 1.3 million Minnesota residents are 65 or older, meaning the need for long-term care is only expected to grow.
I was highly critical of the lack of funding for nursing homes the House majority included in its original budget proposal and am pleased we were able to successfully negotiate this larger appropriation that was worthy of bipartisan support. Anything less would have been an injustice to our seniors, especially with a state surplus of around $18 billion. This funding is a step toward stabilizing Minnesota’s struggling long-term care industry and I am pleased we delivered.
Back-to-school tax savings
The cost of purchasing back-to-school supplies can quickly add up, so it’s a good idea to save receipts and take advantage of tax benefits that can provide some relief.
Minnesota has both a K-12 education credit and a K-12 education subtraction for school-related expenses. Both programs reduce the taxes parents pay and could provide a larger refund when filing state income taxes. Qualifications apply and expenses must be for children attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school.
School supplies that qualify for the credit or subtraction include writing utensils, textbooks, musical instrument rentals, tutoring, and computer hardware/educational software. Parents are encouraged to check the Department of Revenue website to determine which expenses qualify.
While the education subtraction is not subject to income limits, the credit is limited to households with incomes less than $76,000 for families with one or two children, and $79,000 for families with three children. For families with three or more children, the household income must be less than $79,000 plus $3,000 for each additional child.
The Department of Revenue reports more than 17,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit last year, for an average credit of $280. Additionally, over 134,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction, for an average subtraction of $1,266.
Hope this information helps. Until next time, enjoy the final stretch of summer before the new school year begins and, as always, please stay in touch and let me know how I can help.