Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.
- Member for
- 4 years 6 months
ST. PAUL – House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and Rep. Paul Marquart stood side-by-side Tuesday introducing House Democrats’ education funding plan. Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, praised Marquart’s work as education finance chairman: “He has done such a fantastic job.” Indeed, politics can make unexpected allies.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota Democrats and Republicans agree on at least one thing: The House tax plan raises a lot of money. “It’s a large increase, but it has to happen,” said Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth. “Somebody has to step up to the plate, be a leader and make the tough decisions, and that’s what we’re here to do.” House members voted 69-64 Wednesday to approve a tax bill that Democrats say will fund key investments and Republicans say will hit everyone hard.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota House Democrats say it is time to balance the state budget and make new investments, but Republicans argue the tax plan they are expected to vote on today does so at the expense of taxpayers. “We have a massive, job-killing tax increase on all Minnesotans,” said Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, a former tax committee chairman. “There is no reason to increase taxes.”
ST. PAUL – Minnesota lawmakers now have three distinct tax proposals to consider with release of a Senate Democratic plan that includes an income tax hike, sales tax changes and property tax relief. Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would increase income tax for married Minnesota couples who make about $141,000 or more taxable income. They also would lower the sales tax rate while expanding what is taxed to include clothing and other goods and some services.
ST. PAUL – Married Minnesota couples who make about $140,000 or more taxable income would pay higher income taxes under a tax plan offered by senators today. The proposal does not create a new income tax bracket, like the governor’s and House’s proposals, but would increase the top tax rate from 7.85 percent to 9.4 percent. That would bring in about $1.2 billion. “This is the bill that is going to balance the state budget,” Tax Committee Chairman Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, said.
ST. PAUL – Republican lawmakers said an environment and agriculture budget bill the House approved 69-61 Thursday is loaded with too-high fees and wasteful spending. “This agriculture and environment finance proposal is loaded with staggering fee increases that will impact hardworking taxpayers in every income bracket,” said Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings. Bill author Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, said the money will help manage water issues throughout the state, stem the spread of invasive species and fund agriculture programs.
ST. PAUL – House Democrat leaders say they need to raise taxes on the richest Minnesotans’ incomes, alcohol and cigarettes to fund top priorities. The extra $2.5 billion in revenue they would gain from new or expanded taxes would go to pay back state money owed to school districts and fund key areas such as early childhood and higher education, job creation and property tax relief, legislative leaders said Monday. “Those critical investments are not free,” House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said.
ST. PAUL -- Maybe next year. That is what state lawmakers in charge of the transportation budget are saying about major transit and road projects, which likely will be put off because they cannot get new funds. A gasoline tax planned to be a major part of the House and Senate transportation budget proposals was yanked after Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday that he would not support it, leaving the lawmakers with a revenue hole.
ST. PAUL -- It is time to make college more affordable for students, state lawmakers say. House and Senate higher education budget proposals include money to freeze tuition at public universities and colleges and allot more funds for state grants and financial aid. Senate Higher Education Committee Chairwoman Terri Bonoff, DFL-Plymouth, said her plan “stops the trend of disinvesting and for the first time makes a substantial investment in students attending colleges and universities across Minnesota and their families.”
ST. PAUL – Rural Minnesota businesses could hire more employees and afford to stay in the state with some extra state help, some lawmakers say. Minnesota legislators have introduced plans to create an internship program, offer special business tax credits and pay for some employee training in greater Minnesota, all aimed at strengthening the rural economy. Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, said his proposed internship program would help young professionals realize there are career opportunities in rural Minnesota.