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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, February 23, 2024


It’s been another busy week to start the 2024 session, with much time being spent in committee meetings for bills that are just making their way into the legislative process. Here’s a look at some of this week’s notes from the Capitol:

House fixes tax bill error

The biggest news from the House floor this week is passage of a bill to fix a mistake in last year’s omnibus tax bill. Once this bill is enacted, many Minnesotans will see their income tax returns improve. Without this correction, the Department of Revenue estimates it would cost Minnesotans an additional $352 million starting in tax year 2024.

National FFA Week

FFA Week 2024

Hats off to our local Future Farmers of America chapters as we make our way through National FFA Week. This is a great organization dedicated to helping our youth develop leadership skills, personal growth, and career success. Their dedication to agriculture is commendable and here are just a few points showing just how important that industry is to Minnesota’s economy:

  • The Minnesota Department of Agriculture indicates our state ranks No. 6 in the nation in agricultural production, with $26 billion in agricultural sales per year.
  • Minnesota’s combined agriculture, food processing, and forestry industries contribute over 15 percent of Minnesota’s total economic activities and support over 10 percent of all jobs.
  • The overall impacts of Minnesota’s agricultural production, processing, and forestry industries generate nearly $106 billion annually in total economic impacts and support 388,134 jobs.

Precinct caucuses

This year’s precinct caucuses will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27. These meetings provide Minnesotans with the opportunity to participate in grassroots politics. The more people we have involved in this process, the better and I hope you can attend.  The Minnesota Secretary of State website has a statewide Caucus Finder page to help citizens find their meeting locations.

Haven for illegal immigrants

The House majority has introduced legislation declaring Minnesota a so-called sanctuary state by prohibiting any employee of state or local government from cooperating with federal immigration agencies. This would make our state a haven for illegal immigrants at a time we face a crisis at our nation’s southern border. I do not support this dangerous proposal and will pass along any developments if/when they occur.

Watch for more news from the Capitol soon, especially with an updated state economic forecast scheduled for release next week. The state had a $17.5 billion surplus last year, which the majority spent as part of their new budget which raised state spending by 40 percent. That led to a shortfall for the next biennium projected in the November forecast. We shall see what next week’s report reveals.

Have a good weekend and, as always, please stay in touch.



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