This week the 2023 Legislative Session came to an end after we passed our budget bills! It was an honor to serve in the legislature this year and I am so proud of the work we did. Alongside our DFL Senators, we are ending the gridlock and delivering on the promises we made to Minnesotans.
Over the weekend, the House passed the 2023 Tax Bill. Collectively, the bill delivers the largest tax cut in state history with credits, rebates, and other provisions designed to maximize benefits for workers, families, and seniors. It also addresses years of rising property taxes and underinvestment in local communities by providing millions of dollars in property tax cuts and direct assistance to local communities. These critically needed provisions are paid for through the state’s historic surplus and new revenue from measures that target the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the state.
I was proud to vote “Yes” and I’m especially glad the 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.
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.
Measures to reform the Renter’s Property Tax Refund program, incorporating the credit onto income tax filings, resulting in an additional $378 million back to renters over the next two years.
Final Public Safety Budget Bill
I was proud to serve on the Conference Committee for the Public Safety and Judiciary Budget bill. Support for law enforcement and victims is central to the bill, carrying significant investments for both. The legislation includes law enforcement priorities with a substantial investment in officer recruitment. Victims and survivors will receive the assistance they need through advocacy programs, housing support, and state-paid sexual assault exams.
I am also glad to report that the bill includes several provisions I authored, including increased mental health treatment options for our first responders, limiting the use of no-knock warrants, and other important changes that make our communities safer and the judicial system more equal.
In response to increasing gun violence, now the leading cause of death for children in the U.S., the bill also includes criminal background checks and a red flag law. It makes historic investments in gun violence prevention research grants to determine the next best steps to end gun violence. For all these reasons and more, I was glad to vote in support of this bill. This work is historic and will help to save lives in our state.
Human Services Budget
It was an honor to serve on the Human Services Policy Committee this session and vote for our Human Services budget. The bill provides support for our most vulnerable Minnesotans, significantly invests in caring professions, and doubles down on our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. The bill passed on a bipartisan vote of 71-61.
With an automatically adjusted reimbursement rate, nursing home facilities are forecasted to receive an additional $847 million over the next four years, the largest increase in state history. Wage increases make up a significant portion of the Human Services budget proposal, with more than $2 billion over the next four years dedicated to raising the rates in Community First Services and Supports, Elderly Waiver, the Disability Waiver Rate System, Home- and Community-Based Services, Intermediate Care Facilities, and others while funding workforce incentive and training opportunities.
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