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05/30/2017

For the first time in nearly two decades, Minnesotans will see significant tax relief. The $660 million tax bill is part of a comprehensive state budget that passed the legislature this morning and will be signed by Gov. Dayton. The bill also includes the biggest investment in roads and bridges since 2008. Almost $1 billion of the $1.5 billion surplus will be used for these two priorities.


“It’s not always easy with divided control of government but Republicans and Democrats came together in a really impressive way,” added Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center). “We provided significant tax relief and reform, we strengthened our agricultural economy, we invested in K-12 schools and colleges and universities, and we finally passed a long-term transportation bill without tax increases. These were the priorities we laid out before session began, and I’m glad we could deliver. Minnesotans will have a lot to be excited about from this budget.”



The new budget includes $648 million in real, meaningful tax relief to Minnesotans, including tax relief for working families and families with small children, reductions on Social Security income taxes, and breaks for people struggling with high student loan debt.



Greater Minnesota will benefit from the new budget thanks to protections to stop the spread of Palmer amaranth, buffer implementation aid, and permanent new Local Government aid and County Program Aid funding.



Roads and Bridges will get badly needed attention under the next state budget, thanks to $300 million in permanent, on-going funding for roads and bridges – without raising taxes, with money dedicated to small cities, town roads, and local bridge replacement accounts. Thousands of lane miles and hundreds of bridges will be repaired or replaced over 10 years with the Republican plan.



Schools are set to receive a significant funding increase of an additional $1.3 billion under the new state budget. This includes a 2% funding formula increase every year – a top priority of education advocates and teachers unions.



A $3.28 billion higher education budget provides funding increases for colleges and universities throughout Minnesota, as well as a $7.86 million increase for Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a $1.21 million increase for Minnesota State College Southeast. In addition, all two-year non-metro colleges will receive additional supplemental funding of at least $100,000, but potentially as much as $300,000.



“Minnesotans should be proud of how their government functioned this year,” added Sen. Rosen. “As Senate Finance Chair, I was heavily involved every facet of the budget deal, and I can say that everyone had the best interests of Minnesotans in mind.”


ROD HALVORSEN
© 2015 KSUM KFMC


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