It’s been a quieter week in St. Paul as much of our work has shifted to conference committees where differences between the Senate and House versions of budget bills are sorted out. Once conference committees reach an agreement, each budget bill will come to the House and Senate for a final vote before being sent to Gov. Walz.
I am hopeful that some of the problematic tax increases and policy provisions spread across the budget bills will be dropped during conference committees. Stay tuned on this as the pace picks up again next week.
Highway 169 Meeting
MNDOT is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, May 10, at Marble City Hall, 302 Alice Ave., to discuss the Hwy 169 Cross Range corridor study from Pengilly to Taconite. Doors open at 5 p.m., with a presentation at 5:30.
Project staff will give a brief background on the corridor and identify corridor needs based on community, industry, and agency feedback, as well as technical analysis. Staff will also present concept alternatives being considered and show a preliminary evaluation of those alternatives based on how well they address the identified needs.
I encourage those of you interested in this project to attend.
MN FaMLI Plan
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives debated and approved legislation that creates a mandated, government-run paid family and medical leave program.
Before I get into the specifics of this bill and an alternate proposal that delivers the same benefits in a more efficient and innovative way, I want to make clear that paid family and medical leave is incredibly important and is something that more Minnesotans should have access to.
My issues with the mechanics of the proposal in House File 2 include:
It will cost billions of dollars to get up and running and require as many as 400 new full-time government employees to develop and administrate.
It would be funded with a multi-billion-dollar tax on employers and employees with more to come because the bill does not include a cap on the payroll tax rate.
Every business, city, school district, county, independent contractor, and anyone that has employees will be forced onto this plan—even if they already offer the benefit. It is unfair to those who would now be taxed for a benefit they already have.
Better access to paid family and medical leave is something that Minnesotans have been asking for and for good reason. Our MN FaMLI plan provides a compassionate and workable alternative that will help lift Minnesota families up and provide them with benefits to make sure that they can spend time with a newborn, take care of a sick relative, or take time off themselves to heal from illness.
Our plan would make every worker in Minnesota eligible for this benefit without the burdensome regulations and new payroll taxes we see in the House Democrat proposal. We can do this without harming small businesses and taking money directly out of Minnesotans’ paychecks.
Staying in Touch
Please continue to reach out to me to share what’s on your mind. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4936 or via email at email@example.com.