Can you believe it? The 2014 legislative session is just around the corner, and we've been busy in St. Paul working to pre-file bills as we get ready to get to work next month. With the legislature set to convene on February 25th, the pre-filing deadline for bills was last Friday, January 10th. I wanted to update you on the bills I pre-filed as the chief authored, and some of those that I co-authored.
HF1937 is a bill that would give school districts more flexibility and discretion on how to spend their tax dollars. It empowers schools to divert more funds to the classroom with the goal of giving schools the ability to better control their academic performance. I'm a firm believer that schools and school districts, not the state Department of Education, knows best how to spend dollars to educate students. If schools are able to direct more dollars to the classroom, I believe it will go a long way to improving student education, which is the ultimate goal of any school district.
In the spirit of Governor Dayton's call for an "unsession," I've chief authored HF2137 that would make the property tax late-fee schedule simpler. This bill will roll back the late fee schedule to what it was in 1975, when property tax late fees were capped at 6% rather than the current level of 8%. While I don't advocate paying property taxes late, there are times when tragedy strikes or hard economic times stress the family budget. Our current property tax system is complicated and leaves little room for assistance when people need short-term help. This bill leaves penalties in place, but creates a simple, fairer penalty system.
I'm also a co-author on a variety of bills including legislation to repeal the statewide business property tax, a bill to repeal the so-called "marriage penalty" for married couples, and a bill that would eliminate the harmful warehousing tax passed last session that kicks in this April.
As always, I welcome any suggestions you have for legislation, and welcome your comments and thoughts on what legislation we should be focused on tackling when the legislature returns next month. You can reach my office by phone by calling 651-296-4247
, or reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. My door is always open, and I thank you for the continued privilege of serving our community at the legislature.
State Representative, District 09B