With a $1.2 billion budget surplus to work with, the governor formally proposed repealing three new business sales taxes passed last session, including the warehousing tax scheduled to take effect on April 1. He also proposed that Minnesota tax law conform with federal tax law on breaks for married couples, working families, child care and student loans.
State Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, and Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, will hold a State Capitol news conference Thursday to unveil a bipartisan package of options.
Senate Democrats agreed this week to the House position of a $9.50 hourly rate for large businesses, but they continue to oppose a provision for automatic future increases based on inflation.
The list of 1,000 changes released today also includes proposals to streamline government functions. The recommendations are part of what Dayton calls the "unsession," something he has talked about for the past year.
Law enforcement groups strongly oppose the bill, but Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, the chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said she wants the focus of the hearing on the health issues of medical marijuana, not the law enforcement issues.
Social conservatives and Republican legislators are wary of the bill, which gay and lesbian advocacy groups are leading the push for.
State lawmakers begin the second week of the 2014 session today with a $1.2 billion budget surplus to work with.
In addition, some legislative committees are set to discuss tax cuts, medical marijuana and a minimum wage increase.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is running for a second term this year, and he wants legislators to pass tax cuts quickly. He set a March 14 deadline to help Minnesota tax filers get more deductions and exemptions, and to prevent a warehousing tax from taking effect on April 1.
"The story about the Minnesota economy at the moment is that we're continuing to make solid gains," said State Economist Laura Kalambokidis after the state budget forecast was released today.
The fast-moving House bill would make state tax law conform to recent federal changes. It would also repeal three business sales taxes that were passed last session.
A propane fuel shortage this winter, combined with the relatively late start of the legislative session, prompted lawmakers to take some extra quick action.
Minnesota lawmakers return to the Capitol Tuesday for the start of an election-year legislative session, and much of their early attention will be on a minimum wage increase and taxes.
Zellers is one of six GOP candidates trying to unseat DFL incumbent Gov. Mark Dayton this fall. He plans to run in the August primary.
Supporters of Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota are considering a new approach for the 2014 session, and the potential changes are winning the backing of some law enforcement groups.
The issue is a leftover from last year's session, when DFL legislative leaders couldn't reach a compromise before they adjourned. The House had passed a bill to increase the hourly rate to $9.50, while the Senate passed a $7.75 measure.