Legislative Actions on the Projected Surplus

Surplus The 2014 Legislative session set out to achieve a balanced distribution of the $1.2 billion surplus projected by the Economic and Budget Forecast and a review of the final accounting reveals that we did just that. According to the 2014 Legislative Summary, new laws included tax relief, local aids and credit, increased funding for K-12 and higher […]

New Laws Effective 7/1/14: Kill Switch, Pollinators, Broadband Connectivity, etc.

capitol New Laws going into effect on 7/1/14 reflect a wide range of goals for the state. Here are just some of the highlights: Education: The per-pupil basic education formula was increased. State colleges and universities are directed to develop a plan to help students transfer credits more easily. Gender Pay Gap: laws addressing expanded parental leave, […]

Rice and Le Sueur Counties Declared State of Emergency

river Dear neighbors, A State of Emergency has been declared in Rice and Le Sueur counties due to significant damage from flooding, making a wide range of state resources available to support our communities. To ensure aid is available when we are impacted by natural disasters, the legislature created a new program to provide disaster relief […]

Property Tax Refunds are Increasing

apartments Several hundred thousand Minnesota families can expect an increase in their property tax refunds: homeowners can see a three percent increase in their property tax refunds and renters can expect a six percent increase if the full legislature passes the recommendation of the House’s Property Tax and Local Division Report. For those who have submitted […]

MNsure Registration Closed until November

MnSure Logo According to the MNsure.org website, 2014 open enrollment closed on March 31, 2014. The next open enrollment period will be November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015, with coverage taking effect no earlier than January 1, 2015. Consumers will not be able to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan inside or outside of MNsure unless […]

Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Bill

acres-of-corn The House is considering a bill with a variety of ideals to benefit Minnesotans. Among them are: A new farm-to-food shelf program would provide incentives for farmers to give their unsold produce to food shelves. Of the department’s $1.7 million in new spending for fiscal year 2015, $1.5 million would be allocated to the non-profit […]

Changes in Tax Law to Benefit Middle Class

20 dollar bills About 1 in 10 Minnesotans will see tax cuts this year as a result of the tax cut package passed by the legislature. The Department of Revenue is working to provide guidance to tax filers to make sure they can take full advantage: If you have not yet filed your 2013 taxes, you should wait […]

Help for Spiking Propane Costs

home heating In response to the alarming spike in propane costs throughout Minnesota, the Department of Commerce recently announced additional financial assistance for eligible Minnesotans currently heating their homes with propane and heating oil. Financial assistance is available through Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP), with additional payments available as early as next week. Households with an income […]

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Northfield Climate   I recently had the pleasure of touring the Northfield High School with the Senate Education Committee chair, Sen. Wiger and Sen. Dahle.  We visited the 9th grade Academy, the TORCH program and a High Tech Robotics class that Mark Woitalla (seen above) teaches.  This visit and a fair amount of thinking and reading I’ve […]
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