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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ron Erhardt (DFL)

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Legislative Update- May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

The 2016 legislative session ended in chaos at midnight on Sunday, with the House Republican Majority failing to reach compromises on top priorities for the session – a long-term transportation plan and a bonding bill.

On Sunday, a bipartisan tax relief package passed that would provide approximately $800 million in tax cuts for the next three years.  Highlights of the bill include an expansion of the child care tax credit, increased tax credits for veterans, property tax relief for small businesses, and a new student loan tax credit.

The House also passed a supplemental budget bill. Here is the break down on spending for each budget area:

  • Jobs, Energy and Equity: $75 million, which includes funding for broadband and programs to address racial disparities;
  • State Government: $45.23 million;
  • E-12 Education: $25 million;
  • Public Safety: $24.97 million;
  • Environment and Agriculture: $7.18 million;
  • Higher Education: $5 million.

Another notable accomplishment was passing legislation that would change our presidential caucus system to a primary system for the next presidential election in 2020.  The Governor signed the bill into law on Sunday.

Legislative leaders have indicated that a special session could be on the horizon to finish uncompleted work.  Governor Dayton has not committed and said he wouldn’t until a solid agreement is struck between both legislative bodies.  

Although I’m disappointed the House Republican Majority could not come to a compromise on a sustainable, long-term transportation plan, I remain committed to getting the job done.  I am hopeful this can be done either this year through means of a special session, or I will work hard to do so next year.

As the political divide widens on the national and state level, it seems as though art of compromise has been long forgotten.  This needs to change.

It is an honor to represent Edina at the Capitol.


Ron Erhardt

State Representative