Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

Back to profile

Legislative Update (4-24-15)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

The House debated and passed the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 on Tuesday evening. This bill is the major component to our comprehensive, future oriented approach to addressing our state’s transportation need.

Our plan invests $7 billion over the next decade without raising taxes. The ten-year approach prioritizes road and bridge infrastructure through:

  • Immediate repair of roads in Minnesota communities.
  • Highway improvements for commuters and commerce.
  • Reliable, long-term funding without raising taxes.

Our proposal creates a new Transportation Stability Fund which deposits already existing revenue streams into a new fund that will be dedicated to transportation spending. This fund will contain revenue from the sales tax on rental vehicles, the rental vehicle tax, sales taxes on auto parts, and the Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax.

Furthermore, our proposal will bring additional assistance to communities and infrastructure in Greater Minnesota. Here are some of the estimated numbers from our plan that will go directly to rural Minnesota:


  • $1.44 billion for county roads
  • $583 million for municipal roads

  • $282 million for small cities (fewer than 5,000 residents)

  • $60 million for township roads and bridges

A total of 19 cities in District 8B will receive nearly $455,000 additional dollars that can used towards pothole and other road repairs and projects in their communities.

Ultimately, our plan will repair and replace 15,500 lane miles and 330 bridges across the state without raising taxes on hard working Minnesotans.

Tax Relief for Minnesotans

Early this week, House Republican leadership unveiled our omnibus tax bill. This bill provides $2 billion in tax relief to middle-class families, college students, aging adults, veterans, farmers, and job creators.

A significant part of this package is a new Minnesota personal or dependent tax exemption that could save a middle-class family of four more than $500 over the next two years.

Here are some other highlights from the bill:


  • A family of four with a pre-schooler could receive up to $1,500 in tax savings each year from deductions on pre K-12 expenses.


  • College or technical school students could receive up to $3,500 in student loan debt relief each year from a tax credit.
  • Veterans with 20 years of service could receive up to $1,970 in tax relief each year exempting them from military retirement pay.

  • 240,000 farmers could receive property tax relief to reduce their disproportionate share of school district debt service.

This bill will be heard on the House floor in the coming days. I will have more information for you next week.

Investing in Our Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Centers

I have heard from a number of nursing home and care facility employees and directors over the last several months about the struggles they have in finding and retaining care-givers. These conversations are often emotional and reinforce the issues that our rural nursing homes face on a daily basis.

In order to address these needs, one of the top priorities of House Republicans this session was to provide real reform for our nursing homes by implementing a new reimbursement rate, improve wages for care givers, and find a long term sustainable way to fund our rural homes’ needs.

Republicans have followed through on this promise by including provisions in the Health and Human Services omnibus bill that addresses these needs. Here is a look at how area nursing homes would fare under our proposal. These numbers represent the annual change in Medicaid and estimated private revenue for the 2016 rate year if the House legislation becomes law:


  • Alexandria: Knute Nelson - $1,390,875
  • Alexandria: Bethany Home - $1,237,956

  • Osakis: Community Memorial Home - $489,588

  • Henning: Golden Living Center - $254,787

  • New York Mills: Elders Homes - $664,972

  • Parkers Prairie: St. Williams Living Center - $446,798

I am hopeful that the Governor and our DFL colleagues will join us in supporting long term funding that will help address the issues facing our long-term care centers.

Staying Connected

I was honored to preside over the House today during session. Thank you to Speaker Daudt for giving me the opportunity! You can watch a short video of me presiding over the House body here.

As always, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 517 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.