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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL)

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Legislative Update – May 23, 2023

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

The 2023 legislative session adjourned last night after we finished work on a new state budget with tremendous progress for Minnesotans. It was a historic session in many ways, and perhaps the most consequential in Minnesota history. Our budget included many provisions to help folks on the Iron Range and those across our state. In all, we succeeded in bringing $107 million worth of funding to Iron Range priorities. We proved we could move beyond the gridlock that held us back for so long to govern in an effective manner. Here are some of the highlights.

Rep. Lislegard speaking in committee


Largest Tax Cut in State History

Serving as chair of the House Property Tax Division, I had the honor to help construct the largest package of tax cuts in state history. The 2023 Tax bill includes full Social Security state income exemption for those earning less than $100,000 annually (married/joint) or $78,000 (single/head of household), phasing out at $118,000 for single filers and 140,000 for joint filers. It also includes direct rebates of $260 per person, with an additional $260 for each dependent (up to three) reaching more than 2,562,300 Minnesotans. In a strong show of support for families, the bill provides for a new and simplified Child & Working Family Tax Credit of up to $1,750 per child which will impact more than one million families and reduce child poverty by one-third.

The package also included my legislation to increase Local Government Aid (LGA) and County Program Aid (CPA). Under our final agreement, each program will receive an additional $80 million per year to ensure public services can continue while keeping property taxes in check (the full numbers of funding to our communities are listed below). It also included my bill to expand the Homestead Credit Refund, a one-time property tax refund increase, and an increase in funding and modernization of the Payment In Lieu of Taxes program to help northern Minnesota counties. Additionally, we advanced my proposal to expand the film production tax credit to $25 million per biennium and extend the program – which had been set to sunset in 2024 – to 2032. My bill to increase the city of Virginia’s debt limit to finish its public safety building also crossed the finish line.

I also worked on the Mineral Article in the Tax Bill which included authorization for the Commissioner of the Department of Iron Range Resources to provide additional funding for school construction in the Rock Ridge, Chisholm, Hibbing, Ely, Northland Learning Center and Lake Superior school districts. It also included funding for numerous projects in our district (the full list is below).


Support for Workers

All session long, I was honored to champion workers in Minnesota. Early in the legislative session, I quickly worked to extend unemployment benefits for workers laid off when Northshore Mining idled. This was the second bill Governor Tim Walz signed into law this year. Governor Walz also signed my legislation to require workers employed by contractors at oil refineries to have at-least apprentice-level training – a provision I was honored to work with our brothers and sisters in labor to enact into law. I also authored legislation to invest $300,000 in Minnesota Virtual Academy's career pathways program with Operating Engineers Local 49 to create career pathways through apprenticeships. Additionally, our Transportation budget bill included my proposal to allow logging trucks to carry loads up to 9.5 feet wide, up from the current limit of 8.5 feet. This will greatly benefit our state’s logging industry.


Jobs and Local Projects

I was proud to help deliver funding for numerous infrastructure projects in several areas of the state budget. The capital investment package funded Iron Range-area projects including:

Aurora - St. James Open Pit Mine - $2.5 million

Aurora Community Center - $630,000

St. Louis County ATV Trails - $1.294 million

Virginia - Regional Public Safety Building - $2 million

Biwabik - Road Improvements - $1.4 million

Chisholm Public Safety Building - $3 million

Chisholm City Hall - Film Facility - $2.04 million

Chisholm Ice Arena - $3 million

Embarrass Region Fair/Timber Hall – $1.5 million

Giants Ridge - $12.229 million

Buhl - Water Infrastructure - $2 million

Gilbert - Water Treatment - $6.25 million

Here is a comprehensive list of funding initiatives I delivered for our community in other pieces of legislation:

Tax Bill – Grants to Local Communities & Non-Profits

St. Louis County Agricultural Society 4H - $250,000

Ranger Snowmobile & ATV Club - $100,000

Crane Lake Voyageurs Snowmobile Club - $100,000

Voyageur Trail Society - $100,000

Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club - $100,000

Babbitt ATV & Snowmobile Club - $100,000

Boundary Waters Care Center - $750,000

City of Babbitt - $200,000$

Alborn Snow Devils - $100,000

Cherry School ISD#2142 (Baseball Field Lighting) - $300,000

Seitaniemi Housebarn & Sisu Heritage Site - $150,000

Aurora – Downtown Beautification - $600,000

South Ridge School ISD#2142 - $500,000

Mountain Iron Outdoor Recreation Center - $500,000

Buhl – City Hall Improvements - $100,000

MIB Schools ISD#712 – Fitness Center Upgrades - $150,000

Mesabi Sno Voyageurs Snowmobile Club - $100,000

PathBlazers Snowmobile Club - $100,000

Mesabi Fit Coalition - $100,000

Veterans on the Lake - $200,000

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame - $50,000

Other Tax Bill Provisions

Crane Lake Water & Sanitary District Debt Relief - $1.294 million

Rock Ridge Schools Construction Sales Tax Exemption - $3.05 million

Northland Learning Center Construction Sales Tax Exemption- $380,000

Duluth Schools Construction Sales Tax Exemption - $510,000

Ely Schools Construction Sales Tax Exemption - $360,000

Hibbing Schools Construction Sales Tax Exemption - $260,000

Northern Lights Construction Academy Sales Tax Exemption - $320,000

Nashwauk Keewatin School Construction Sales Tax Exemption - $1.2 million

Chisholm Schools Construction Sales Tax Exemption - $840,000

Transportation Bill Appropriations

St. Louis County – Eveleth/Rock Ridge School - $6 million

St. Louis County – Aurora - $3 million

Environment & Energy Bill Appropriations

Minnesota Power HVDC Line - $15,000,000

St. Louis County ATV Trail Funding - $1.45 million

St. Louis County – Canyon Waste Campus Project - $2 million

Chisholm - Redhead Mountain Bike Park - $500,000

Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR)

Chisholm - Redhead Mountain Bike Park - $1.6 million

Biwabik – Recreation Facility - $1.306 million

Veterans & Military Omnibus Bill

Veterans on the Lake – Disabled Veterans Grant Program - $100,000

Serving on the Taxes conference committee, I worked diligently to secure increased levels of County Program Aid (CPA), Local Government Aid (LGA), Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), and public safety funding to reduce property taxes for hardworking Minnesotans. The following are increases in those areas for communities on the Iron Range:


CityLGA IncreaseLGA Annual TotalPublic Safety Aid One-timeTotal Increased Aid
Aurora$57,083 more$741,728 total$73,867$130,950
Biwabik$20,358 more$271,564 total$42,010$62,368
Buhl$25,331 more$419,562 total $41,879$67,210
Chisholm$220,690 more$3,688,530 total$207,074$427,764
Eveleth$273,863 more$3,246,100 total$151,804$425,667
Gilbert$43,569 more$784,630 total$73,299$116,868
Iron Junction$3,918 more$13,522 total$4,770$8,688
Kinney$2,633 more$49,468 total$6,608$9,241
Meadowlands$4,279 more$31,324 total$5,820$10,099
Mountain Iron$158,858 more$1,595,717 total $125,242$284,100
Virginia$836,452 more$7,043,458 total$364,567$1,201,019


CountyCPA IncreaseLocal Housing AidPublic Safety Aid One-timeTotal Increased Aid
St. Louis$4,121,720$376,745$3,423,415$7,921,880 



Lislegard on House Floor

At the Capitol, we’ve worked intentionally and deliberately to cut taxes, invest in our children’s education, increase funding for local communities, support our nursing homes and direct care workers, ensure we have safe, reliable roads and bridges, and so much more. I am incredibly blessed and honored to represent the people of the Iron Range.

Please continue to be in touch. It’s an honor to represent you.


Dave Lislegard

State Representative