From: Senator Mike Goggin
We are in the home stretch of the 2021 legislative session. As I write this, the Senate is wrapping up passing a complete state government budget encompassing every issue area.
We are focusing on Minnesotans’ priorities: balancing the budget without raising taxes; investing in roads and bridges without a gas tax increase, tab fee increase, or unpopular new mileage tax; funding public safety and police who keep us safe; and making sure schools have the resources they need to deliver the great education we’ve come to expect.
The Republican transportation budget provides $3.03 billion for state road construction, development, and maintenance; $2.25 billion for County and Municipal State Aid Roads; and $334 million for Corridors of Commerce. The bill also provides $60 million for local and small bridges and $18.5 million for the Local Road Improvement Program. The bill also provides unprecedented levels of new, ongoing funding for small city and township roads.
Best of all: It doesn’t raise gas taxes, license tab fees, or add a new tax on the miles you drive.
We also added several reforms to make things easier for drivers, like same-day purchases of license tabs from automated kiosks, and we cleaned up unconstitutional spending that should be going to roads and bridges.
Our education bill fully funds K-12 schools and transforms the way the state delivers education. Rather than continuing the status quo, we are emphasizing approaches with a track record of improving student performance in other states, like student literacy, mental health, and empowering parents.
Schools will receive a significant boost in funding of nearly $3.5 billion from combined state and federal resources. Total state education aid will reach a record of $20.6 billion for the upcoming two school years under the Republican proposal — approximately 42 percent of the state’s general fund budget. When combined with local levies, schools will have more than $29 billion in revenue for the next budget cycle.
Senate Republicans are proposing a $681 million tax relief bill aimed at helping workers and small business owners recover from COVID-19 and jumpstarting the state’s economy. The comprehensive legislation focuses on several key areas, prioritizing a reduction on property taxes for job creators, relief for in-home childcare providers, and support for affordable housing by reducing rates on low-income rental property.
The Senate’s proposal contains no tax increases — a sharp contrast from tax plans from House Democrats and Gov. Tim Walz, both of whom have proposed more than $1 billion in tax hikes.
The bill prioritizes full conformity for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans many businesses used to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a bipartisan compromise allowing those who need relief most to exclude a portion of their pandemic unemployment benefits from their taxes.
Our plan also expands K-12 tax credits for working families, creates a property tax credit for in-home child care providers, and supports struggling hospitality businesses.
If you ever have any questions or feedback, or if you would like to set up an opportunity to meet, contact me any time at 651-296-5612 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a privilege to serve you!