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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bob Dettmer (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Bob Dettmer

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hello from the State Capitol,


Last night, a budget agreement was reached between Governor Walz and the legislature. Most of the final details are still being constructed, but there are a couple of noteworthy provisions that deserve your attention.


The good news is the agreement eliminates the 20-cents per gallon gas tax increase that had been promoted by the House DFL and Governor Walz.


The bad news is the provider tax – also known as the sick tax as anyone who visits a doctor or dentist pays it – is not only continued but will not be allowed to sunset. This 2 percent tax was going to disappear on December 31. It will now become a 1.8% tax and will continue into perpetuity unless changes are made in the future.


In the area of veterans and military affairs, I have spoken with the chair and am told we have accomplished what we wanted. This includes full funding for veterans homes and giving military affairs the resources they need to succeed. It also includes my proposal that provides a veteran’s surviving spouse with a property tax exclusion for as long as the spouse stays in their house.


As for the rest of the budget, details are sketchy. For example, we don’t know if a $68 million cut to nursing homes is still alive.


My hope is that we will take out anything controversial and vote on budget bills that will benefit Minnesotans.


Special session will be occurring in order to process these bills. Hopefully we will wait to debate these proposals until after Memorial Day, which will give people plenty of time to review the budget plans and make some decisions.


I will be sure to keep you updated when I learn more.


Talk to you soon,