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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Marion Rarick (R)

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Legislative Update

Monday, May 21, 2018

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With students from Monticello Middle School


Dear Neighbor,

The 2018 legislative session concluded on Sunday night, as the Legislature passed a compromise tax conformity and education funding bill, a bonding bill, a supplemental bill with a number of key priorities for Minnesotans, and a pension bill, which were all sent to Governor Dayton for signature. House Republicans championed the shared priorities of Minnesotans, and the legislation we passed this year builds off the many successes of 2017 when we advanced the largest tax cut in nearly two decades, the largest investment in roads and bridges in state history without requiring Minnesotans to pay more at the pump, significant investments in our students and schools, and reforms to lower health care costs for Minnesota families.

First, with historic tax reform passed by Congress late last year, it was a top priority of House Republicans and Minnesota taxpayers to pass a federal conformity plan. Our goal was to hold as many Minnesotans as possible harmless, ensuring taxpayers could take full advantage of state and federal tax relief and keep more money in their pocket. Doing federal conformity now also ensures that filers won’t face undue complications next year. In an effort to secure Governor Dayton’s signature, we passed a joint tax relief and education package that simplifies our tax code, provides the first income tax rate cut in nearly 20 years, and makes available more than $225 million to help students—nearly $100 million more than what the governor had requested to help school districts address budget shortfalls and what he expressed to be his top priority.

Next, in the supplemental bill we worked on a number of critical priorities, negotiating with the governor throughout the process. The bill contains shared priorities like ensuring safe schools, repairing roads and bridges, tackling the opioid epidemic, protecting aging and vulnerable adults, and preventing a cut to caregivers of disabled Minnesotans. For safe schools in particular, that was a top priority of Republicans, and we passed a number of measures that provide flexibility and resources for schools to do everything from hire a school resource officer or more student counselors to making critical facility security upgrades.

What’s more, the supplemental bill also included a number of initiatives I championed. For the Monticello School District, we’re providing $800,000 for immediate relief in 2019 to make the district whole again after the Minnesota Department of Education forced them to make changes to the structure of their special education co-op. It also included my bill that will strengthen our drunk driving laws, requiring ignition interlock after a second offense.

Passing a bonding package, House Republicans made sure that our plan was reasonably-sized and focused on infrastructure needs across the state. The majority of funding is dedicated to brick-and-mortar type projects including road and bridge improvements, water infrastructure and statewide asset preservation. Furthermore, the bonding bill also included $32 million for the construction of new veterans homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston, as well as $10 million for the renovation of existing homes.

House Republicans worked diligently this session on the priorities of Minnesotans, and we championed measures that are important to our citizens, taxpayers, families, farmers and local businesses. I’d encourage you to call Governor Dayton’s office and ask him to sign these bills, especially the supplemental budget bill, which are vitally-important to Wright County residents and people across our state. We made a good-faith effort to work with the governor throughout the process, and I am hopeful he will sign these commonsense bills into law and do right by the people of Minnesota.


As always, if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government or have concerns or ideas about legislation, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 549 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.



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