Now that the House majority has approved all of its budget bills, conference committees are in full swing. Conference committees are made up of an equal number of House and Senate members, and craft compromise legislation on a bill that can be approved by both legislative bodies. For example, I received an appointment to the commerce conference committee, and expect to be meeting over the next several days in order to reconcile any differences. The 2023 legislative session must end on May 22.
SOCIAL SECURITY TAX RELIEF DISCUSSIONS BEGIN
Speaking of conference committees, when the Taxes conference committee meets, we will learn the future of Social Security tax relief. I remain hopeful we will see some meaningful changes this year, as GOP pressure to do something has revived discussions after it appeared the majority party was walking away from giving more of our senior citizens Social Security tax relief.
COSTLY EMPLOYEE LEAVE PROPOSAL APPROVED
The House majority approved a plan this week that creates a mandatory, government-run paid leave program funded by tax increases on virtually every employer and employee in the state. It received bipartisan opposition and was approved by one vote. House Republicans offered an alternative plan that would allow the private sector to partner with insurance agencies, and would provide tax incentives to promote this benefit. Under this GOP plan participation would have been voluntary, and it would have improved efficiencies. Unfortunately, the House majority would not allow this proposal to move forward.
DOES MINNESOTA REALLY NEED A ‘BIAS REGISTRY’ TO MONITOR PEOPLE’S SPEECH AND WRITINGS?
As part of the House majority’s judiciary/public safety proposal, a measure was included that would allow and add staff to the Department of Human Rights to collect information regarding individual speech that was not criminal or violent but which the agency may have perceived as biased. This is an overboard measure that appears to go after your First Amendment rights of free speech. Needless to say, I voted against the bill.
It was good to see some local students this week! Middle school students from Sauk Rapids-Rice stopped by my office while touring the State Capitol. Thanks for the visit!
KEEP IN TOUCH
As always, I'm continuing to support constituent needs. Feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-7808.