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

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Budget Discussion & More from the House

Friday, March 8, 2019


It's March, which means spring is almost here despite the mounds of snow outside! It also signals that we're deep into session, the governor has put forth his budget request, and the House is busy hearing bills. See my update below and have a great weekend and enjoy the snow! As always, feel free to contact me with any further questions you may have. 

Mental Health for Farmers 

On Monday, the House unanimously passed a bill, HF 232, which provides $100,000 for mental health counseling for farm families and businesses, as well as the Farm Advocates program. The farm economy is causing a lot of stress for farmers and their families right now, and I know this additional money for mental health counseling will be put to good use. I strongly support this bill, and I hope to see it pass the Senate and get signed into law as soon as possible.

Governor Walz's Budget Proposal

Governor Tim Walz released his budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium, it is highlighted by more than $3 billion in tax increases over the next two years as well as $4.7 billion in tax increases for 2022-2023. His proposal would raise Minnesota's gas tax by twenty cents—vaulting Minnesota's gas tax to 4th highest in the nation. It also includes increases to tab fees, the motor vehicle sales tax, the Metro Area sales tax, business taxes, and reinstatement of the sick tax, which is set to expire at the end of the year, adding $1 billion to the cost of health care for Minnesotans over the next two years.

I think this is the wrong approach. At a time when Minnesota has a billion dollar surplus, we should be looking at ways to enact tax reform not proposing a 70 percent gas tax hike that will move Minnesota to the 4th highest gas tax rate in the country. We have put forward ideas, including eliminating the tax on social security and lowering income taxes for all Minnesotans, that will make Minnesota an even better place to live, work, raise a family, and retire. Governor Walz's proposal takes Minnesota in the opposite direction. 

Legislation to Watch 

House Democrats voted to void almost all Minnesota boat insurance policies. While the intent of the bill was to eliminate what's the 'family exclusion' in boat and personal umbrella insurance policies, the bill as passed would render any current boat insurance policies that have a family exclusion immediately void. Usually, when legislation that affects insurance policies is passed, it has an enactment date well into the future to allow insurance companies time to update policies to comply with the law. However, this bill has an immediate effective date and applies to all policies in effect on or after that date -- so if your boat or umbrella policy has a family exclusion (almost all do) you would not have coverage. This bill would also result in higher insurance rates for boat owners.

Even though many amendments were offered to fix this bill, Democrats voted each of them down. I voted no on this bill and it is something we need to keep an eye on. It still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by the governor to become law.

Please Contact Me

As the session continues, please feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts that you have on any matter of state government.  Your input helps me to best represent our community, and I appreciate you taking the time to reach out. You can reach me by phone at 651-296-5377  or by email at My office is located on the second floor of the State Office Building in room 261.