Friends and neighbors,
Despite a brief pause last week as the snow flew, it’s been another exciting couple of weeks at the Capitol. Here’s the latest.
Cracking down on catalytic cover thefts
Minnesota ranks in the top five for catalytic cover thefts nationwide. Last week, we passed legislation to crack down on theft by prohibiting anyone from possessing a used, unattached catalytic converter unless the owner has the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the vehicle and the date the converter was removed from the vehicle. It prohibits the sale and purchase of catalytic converters by anyone other than registered scrap metal dealers and would impose a fine of up to $10,000 for unlawful possession and sale.
We also passed HF 16, which would ban conversion ‘therapy’ for minors and vulnerable adults. Conversion therapy has been identified by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatry Association as a dangerous and discredited practice that has traumatized many LGBTQ+ Americans.
Serving our veterans
This week, I presented HF 2130, which will create a yearly investment to the Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum for museum staff to provide direct services to veterans and their families. This museum is a big draw for veterans and their families, and with the upcoming plans for expansion, it’s critical that it has the staff needed to make sure they continue to be well-served.
Helping child care providers
Another bill I presented this week is HF 2029. This bill helps child care providers do their vital job by simplifying the licensure process and creating uniform inspection standards of facilities. Child care is one of the biggest issues our state is facing, and I plan to continue to fight for making child care easier for both families and providers.
Simplifying and expanding the renter’s Tax Credit
Yesterday, the Property Tax Division Committee heard my legislation to convert the Minnesota renter’s credit into a refundable income tax credit, so eligible taxpayers can automatically receive the credit with their tax return, rather than as a separate payment months later. The bill would also expand eligibility, allowing more than 150,000 Minnesotans who currently don’t qualify to benefit.
Right now, when Minnesotans file for their renter’s credit, they don’t receive payment until late summer. By converting this credit into a refundable income tax credit, we’ll make tax season a little brighter for Minnesotans by sending the credit to them alongside the rest of their refund.
Elections Committee highlights
We’ve heard several exciting bills in the Elections Finance and Policy Committee over the past couple of weeks. We heard legislation to grant access to multiple-unit residential facilities to candidates and campaign workers to knock on doors and have face-to-face conversations with residents.
Another bill aims to ensure all postsecondary institutions with students accepting state financial aid have a list of students living on campus or nearby to use for election day registrations.
I’m excited we’re able to work on great legislation to increase voter turnout and make sure our elections are free, fair, and safe.
Another great bill that will affect our community is HF 535, which modifies levy practices for school boards, allowing expiring referendum authority to be renewed by school board action if the per-pupil authority is not increased, and the term of renewal is no longer than the current term. This will be a big help to our school districts and give our school boards the ability to work more quickly and better for our kids.
To stay up to date with our important work at the State Capitol, you can see the Minnesota House of Public Information Services’ nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication.
You can also stay up-to-date with the latest by following my Facebook page.
To share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to reach out at email@example.com or 651-296-4218, and I will be happy to help. If you were forwarded this email and you’d like to subscribe, click here. If you have a friend or neighbor who would be interested in receiving these, please forward this and encourage them to subscribe.
Thank you, as always, for the honor of serving you.
Rep. Nathan Coulter