Here’s the latest news from St. Paul.
The House DFL, Senate GOP, and the DFL Governor finally came to an agreement yesterday evening, and announced the framework of their budget in a press conference. The Senate was able to hold strong on many aspects of the DFL’s harmful budget proposals, putting a stop to the vast majority of their $12 billion in tax increases. Unfortunately, they agreed that the Sick Tax/Provider Tax would continue instead of ending at the end of this year. The Senate was able to negotiate a 1.8% tax instead of the proposed 2%, however. I am very proud to say that Republicans killed the proposed DFL gas tax increase of $0.20 per gallon indexed to inflation. As I’ve said all along, there is no need to increase taxes on Minnesotans when we have a billion dollar surplus and half a billion more coming in above the forecasted amount so far this year. As for policy, that is still being worked on in conference committees, but I am hopeful that all of the controversial provisions will be eliminated.
At this point it is not possible to finish on time, so we will have to go to a special session. The timing of that special session has yet to be determined. DFL House Speaker Hortman said that even after the legislative session adjourns tonight, conference committees will continue to work in a transparent manner, but declined to say how that will work.
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 357 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.