Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In the early hours of Friday morning we passed the final bill of our state budget agreement. After the Governor's veto of our first round of budget bills, and many long hours negotiating with Governor Dayton, we were able to reach a budget agreement and complete our work, for a second time. Governor Dayton has signed all of our budget bills into law.
The tax relief portion of the budget and our transportation funding package are two of the major highlights from this legislative session.
Our tax bill gives $650 million in tax relief for Minnesotans at all stages of life. It includes a provision similar to one I authored that makes social security income tax-exempt for seniors under a certain income level, significantly raising this threshold and easing the financial burden for those living on fixed incomes.
There is also a provisions for our farmers that lightens the burden they experience due to school referendums. Currently, farmers pay about 10 times the amount that other families pay for school levies. This is particularly important for the many farmers who live and work in our communities.
Our transportation funding bill is a 10-year plan that will repair and build roads and bridges throughout Minnesota. It is the largest transportation funding package we have ever passed in our state without raising additional revenue. We are proud to have such robust investment in transportation infrastructure, with out raising the gas tax.
Also included in our state budget was funding to build a new (badly-needed) Chisago County Emergency Services Building. Our current building is literally crumbling, and the new facility will be well equipped to serve the residents of Chisago County.
I hope you found a chance this Memorial Day weekend to stop and honor the legacy of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms and way of life in this country. If you have lost a loved one in service to our nation, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers; your loss is held sacred by our nation, and the legacy of your soldier will never be forgotten.