Your input is valuable to me, and I'd like to hear from you about important issues being debated at the Capitol. If you haven't done so yet, please take my survey by clicking the link below. Also, don't forget to share it with your family and friends in District 29B!
The Road and Bridge Act
Last Monday, March 23, House and Senate Republicans unveiled a 10 year, $7 billion transportation package that will fund road and bridge repair and highway improvements statewide without raising your taxes.
Called the Road and Bridge Act, this proposal will repair or replace more than 15,000 lane miles and 330 bridges across the state. We can make these significant investments in infrastructure by redirecting already collected transportation taxes to our roads, by using a portion of the surplus, by finding cost savings with MnDOT and using Trunk Highway and General Obligation bonds. Instead of raising the gas tax by a minimum of 16 cents per gallon or increasing the metro-area sales tax, the Road and Bridge Act sets up a stable, dedicated funding source for immediate and long-term infrastructure improvements.
In Wright County, families rely on our roads and bridges to get to work and drive their children to school. The state does not need to tax Minnesota drivers hundreds of dollars more each year to fund transportation improvements. Instead, the Road and Bridge Act offers a positive vision for the next decade that will meet the priorities of Minnesotans across the state without taking more from your family's budget.
I will keep you updated on transportation funding as the Road and Bridge Act moves forward this session.
Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council Bill
I am honored to be one of two House Republicans serving on the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, and I am carrying their agency legislation HF 1695 this session. The bill has strong bipartisan support.
While many of the changes to the bill are technical, these changes are very important as unemployment insurance is a significant cost to businesses. Also, I authored an amendment that alters allowable unemployment insurance quit provisions. My amendment would take the cost of living difference into account for a married couple moving for one of the spouses. If one spouse took a job that required a move, the new job would have to have total compensation equal or greater than the previous job, taking into account the cost of living, for the second spouse to collect unemployment.
This commonsense change makes a real difference for employees who move with their spouse for a new job.
HF 1695 has been given its second reading, meaning its next stop will be a hearing on the House Floor.
Department of Labor and Industry Legislation
Another agency bill I am carrying this session is for the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). HF 1549 includes a number of unsession changes to delete obsolete language from state law.
Additionally, I also amended the bill to change the biennial filing period for the over 13,000 subcontractors in the state of Minnesota. The simple change allows subcontractors to file with the state at the end of the year instead of June 30, which is a very busy time for these small business owners. Commonsense changes like this ease the process of doing business in Minnesota.
As always, please feel free to contact me about any state legislative issue. 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.