Legislative Update 3.23.12

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
News from Representative Franson

This week has been a busy week at the Minnesota House, with long floor sessions and various committee meetings.

Voter ID passed the House this week, after a 9 hour floor session on Tuesday. This bill proposes an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require all voters provide a photo ID prior to a ballot being cast or counted. This important piece of legislation will allow the voters to decide if a photo ID should be presented during elections.

The question on the ballot would be: Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification on Election Day and that the state provide free identification to eligible voters?

If an eligible voter does not have a valid government issued photo ID, ID cards will be made available at no charge.

Another bill that passed the House floor included this week was the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. This bill is particularly helpful to our small businesses. The bill also contains an internship program that will help to grow jobs in Greater Minnesota.

The Internship Grant Program, administered through the Office of Higher Education would give a 40 percent grant up to $1,250 per intern to employers. This is a program that aims to attract and keep great talent in Minnesota.

This bill also provides for a state-wide business property tax reduction. This bill would exempt 70 percent of the first $150,000 of value for all business property in Minnesota; this will be especially beneficial for rural small businesses. This also begins a 12 year phase-out of the tax in 2014, to be completed in 2025. Property tax relief is good for all Minnesotans, and especially our business owners. This bill would also freeze statewide tax on business property for one year.

Ultimately this bill comes down to helping Minnesota’s job creators find Minnesota’s job seekers. We need to continue giving job creators the tools they need to be successful in Minnesota.

A bill that I have recently introduced is related to health care in Minnesota. House File 2907 would allow for a tax credit to go to physicians assisting patients without insurance.

We are starting to wrap up the survey process. If you haven’t taken my legislative survey yet, please click here to complete the survey.

Have a great weekend!

Mary