Accomplishments

Supporting our Veterans

I authored a bill signed into law by Governor Dayton that provides a full exemption of veteran retirement benefits from state income tax.

I am truly honored to have carried this legislation that represents an effort that was at least two decades in the making. Thanks to this bill, nearly 18,000 retired veterans living in Minnesota will no longer pay state income tax on these benefits.

For me, getting this done was not only the right thing to do for our veterans, it was the right thing to do for our state. Military retirees are well educated and equipped to start second careers, with many having taken advantage of educational opportunities during their time in service. This is a huge win for veterans in Minnesota.

Prioritizing Minnesotans

I worked hard this biennium to prioritize issues important to you and your family.

  • Enacted reforms to improve aging adults’ quality of life and care
  • Invested funds directly into our classrooms and promoted school choice through early education scholarships
  • Expanded broadband to deliver high-speed internet access to underserved communities
  • Increased protections for the unborn
  • Strengthened 2nd Amendment rights
  • Stopped tax increases on doctor visits and insurance premiums
  • Increased oversight of MNsure and created a waiver from Obamacare

Tax Relief

I voted in support of nearly $1 billion in tax relief over the next three years including more than $500 million in ongoing and permanent tax cuts. The bill was broadly bipartisan and passed with 89 percent support of the entire legislature.

Unfortunately Governor Dayton vetoed the bill, making it the most bipartisan tax bill vetoed in the last 30 years. Provisions in the bill included:

  • Tax relief for Farmers
  • Increases in Local Government Aid
  • Relief for college graduates
  • Property tax relief for small business
  • Tax relief for working families
  • Expanding the childcare tax credit for families

Roads and Bridges

State government does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending priorities problem. That’s why I continue to support a transportation plan that funds our road and bridge needs by reallocating already existing transportation related taxes.

Unfortunately this plan did not become law due to the Governor and DFL’s insistence on the largest gas tax increase in state history.

Simply put, the state has the resources to fund our roads and bridges without a new and harmful gas tax. Let’s get it done.

Protecting Aging Seniors Quality of Life

Last year, I helped pass generational reforms to the way we fund nursing homes. These important reforms provide a permanent solution to funding challenges facing our rural senior care centers.

In total, $138 million will be invested in rural nursing homes by changing the way the state reimburses facilities. Increased funding will help secure better wages for caretakers as we look for ways to maintain outstanding care for our seniors.