Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

Back to profile

Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, April 7, 2017

Dear Friends,

The last couple of weeks have been jammed-packed here at the Capitol. Last Friday was the final deadlines for finance bills to be passed out of their committees. For the last several House floor sessions we have been debating and voting on the major finance bills, including passing our House tax relief bill and transportation funding bill. Details on those bills, and an update on Macy’s Law are below.

House Tax Relief Bill

Our House tax relief bill will provide $1.35 million in tax relief for hardworking Minnesotans in all stages of life.

Provisions in this bill that will helps folks in our area include:

  • $269 million in relief for Minnesota’s senior citizens by increasing the income limit at which social security income is taxable. As a result, by 2019 nearly 284,000 senior citizen tax returns (single and married filing jointly) would be eligible to receive a tax exemption on their social security benefits with an average tax reduction of $710.
  • More than $125 million to address college affordability through a first-in-the-nation tax credit for student loan payments, along with subtractions and credits for families saving for college using 529 Savings Plans. Through the student debt tax credit, 77,500 students will receive on average a $640 reduction in their taxes.
  • $35 million for families with young children by modifying the child & dependent care credit. A family of four earning $50,000 a year will receive an additional $1,200 toward their childcare expenses.
  • $203 million in relief for hometown businesses by exempting the first $200,000 in property value from the extra tax on businesses and freezing its automatic inflator. This helps every business owner reinvest in their business, protecting 30,000 Minnesota jobs.

This bill passed the House without a hitch, and will be debated in a conference committee with the Senate to discuss the differences between their bill and ours.

House Transportation Funding Bill

The House transportation funding bill also passed the House last week. This bill will invest $6 billion over the next 10 years into building roads and bridges around the state, without raising the gas tax. Our transportation funding bill also creates a new Transportation Priorities Fund using existing transportation-related tax revenue. This fund will appropriate $450 million in new funding toward roads and bridges.

Transportation provisions included:

  • $25 million for the Small Cities Road Assistance program
  • $300 million for Corridors of Commerce program
  • $35 million for rail grade crossings
  • Funding to repair or replace all 97 bridges on MnDOT's local bridge priority list

Again, this bill passed the House and will be debated in a conference committee with the Senate.

Macy’s Law

Many of you know that I have been working on Macy’s Law this session, a bill that would increase penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license. This provision was included in House public safety bill, which passed the House on Monday.

I am optimistic that Macy’s Law will be included in the final omnibus bill once it leaves conference committee. I hope heightened penalties will keep individuals off the road who should not lawfully be driving, and prevent future tragedies, like the one our community saw in 2015 when Macy Kujava and her daughter were hit by a driver who had a suspended license.

Here is a video I posted on my facebook page that explains a little bit more about the bill:

As always, please let me know if you have any questions as we move forward with session. I will keep you update on the bills mentioned above as the move through conference committee.