With Linda and Karen Markowitz. So glad they came to visit the Capitol!
Here is an update with the latest news from the Capitol.
This week, House Republicans unveiled their tax conformity plan which includes the first income tax rate cut in nearly two decades. With significant tax reform at the federal level, we worked to craft a plan that will simplify our tax code, prevent unnecessary complications for filers next year, and ensure hardworking taxpayers can keep more of their hard earned money.
More than 2.1 million filers will benefit from a tax cut next year under our proposal. Highlights include:
While Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget raises $1.4 billion in taxes on Minnesotans, we’re working on a conformity plan that returns more money to taxpayers across the state.
Student safety has been a top priority this session, and on Thursday, we passed a comprehensive education bill that focuses on student sand school safety, makes a number of innovative reforms, and brings more transparency to education.
First, our school safety package included in the bill is a multifaceted approach that gives Minnesota school districts the resources and flexibility they need to address student safety and security. That includes expanding the use of long-term facilities maintenance revenue for facility security upgrades, providing grants for schools to do security audits, addressing student mental health, supporting suicide prevention training for teachers, increasing funding for Safe Schools Revenue, and more.
Our bill also strengthens laws around school lunch shaming and teacher misconduct, as well as helps create a new School Report Card—a one-stop-spot for summative and easily accessible school and district ratings that will provide families with a place to research, compare and help determine which school will work best for their child.
Finally, the bill includes my provision which ensures that students are exposed to a wide variety of postsecondary options including trades, manufacturing and branches of the United States military.
Update on Surviving Spouse Benefits Bill
I am still working diligently to get my legislation that expands the property tax exclusion for surviving spouses of disabled veterans passed this session. When this program started, the exclusion was for two years, and it is currently at eight years.
I am amending my proposal, as I work to get it signed into law this year, saying now that a one-time sale would be allowed by the spouse if they choose to downsize and purchase a home of lesser value. This will help more homes return to a county’s tax rolls sooner.
This bill has strong support from the Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota, and many other veterans’ organizations in our state. It’s an important issue, and I am dedicated to continue working hard for our veterans and their families.
As always, thank you for the honor of being your state representative. Please contact me with any questions or input you may have; I look forward to hearing from you.