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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Anne Neu

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friends and Neighbors,   

In recent weeks, the House has approved a tax bill and multiple omnibus bills covering various policy areas.  With a little over a week remaining in the 2018 legislative session, we began our conference committee work on these bills this week.  Conference committee is the process in which legislators from the House and the Senate work together to reconcile differences between bill versions that have been passed in their respective bodies.  Following this process, the bills then head to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Tax Bill

Last week, the House passed bipartisan tax legislation to simplify Minnesota’s tax code to allow filers to fully benefit from federal tax reform and provide additional tax relief to middle-class Minnesotans.  The bill delivers significant tax relief for middle-class families by reducing the second tier income tax rate.  This historic tax reduction would be Minnesota’s first income tax rate cut in nearly 20 years, and would result in over 2.1 million Minnesota filers seeing a tax reduction.  I was proud to vote in favor of this bill which will allow Minnesotans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Some specific changes in the bill include cutting the second tier income tax rate from 7.05% to 6.75% by tax year 2020; lowering taxes for people at all income levels by increasing the standard deduction from $13,000 to $14,000; protecting families by preserving a state personal and dependent exemption of $4,150; and encouraging affordable homeownership by allowing a state-itemized deduction of up to $30,000 in property taxes.

Omnibus Bills

The House has passed a number of omnibus budget bills in addition to the tax bill.  These bills are focused on policies that will positively benefit Minnesotans, such as significant transportation investments and tackling health care costs.  

Highlights of these bills include:

  • Providing $385 million for transportation needs this year by using surplus funds leveraged with trunk highway bonds to repair and improve our roads and bridges
  • Allocating $15 million for rural broadband funding
  • Addressing vulnerable adult abuse and neglect, strengthening the tools the state can use against perpetrators of abuse and holding state agencies accountable for their shortcomings on maltreatment investigations
  • Cutting the MNsure tax on health plans to help lower health care costs for Minnesotans
  • Funding three new veterans homes in Greater Minnesota with excess Stadium Reserve Funds
  • Reinstating the 7 percent cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System to prevent a wage reduction for those that care for our disabled community
  • Combatting the opioid epidemic
  • Strengthening and closing loopholes in Minnesota law surrounding criminal sexual conduct
  • Increasing the penalties for protesters who illegally obstruct highways and transit
  • Funding for job training grants and other programs and grants to help small-business startups

There are a lot of important provisions that will benefit Minnesota’s taxpayers and families in our omnibus budget bills.  With one week to go, I look forward to finding compromise with Governor Dayton and the Senate on these issues.

Contact Me

Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to contact me over the course of session.  In the final week, please feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts that you have on the issues that will be coming before me on the House floor.  I value the input I receive from constituents, as it helps me to best represent our communities.