Denny McNamara: Capitol Update

Representative Denny McNamara

Representative Denny McNamara

By Rep. Denny McNamara, 04/30/2015

Hello from the State Capitol,

The Minnesota House has approved legislation that would positively impact millions of hardworking, middle-class Minnesotans.

Our omnibus tax bill provides $2 billion in tax relief to middle-class families, college students, aging adults, veterans, farmers and job creators & innovators. The most significant part of this package is a new Minnesota personal or dependent tax exemption that could save a middle-class family of four more than $500 over the next two years.

Other highlights include the phasing out of the social security tax, which would help more than 366,000 aging adults who are living on fixed incomes. Veterans would also receive relief as their military pay and pensions would no longer be subject to the income tax.

Families would also benefit through the expansion of the education deduction to include pre-school expenses, and nearly 110,000 college students would qualify for a new tax credit for principal and interest loan payments on their student loans, providing them with some savings on their higher education costs.

The family budgets of Minnesotans have not grown nearly as fast as the budget of state government over the past two years, and this bill looks to provide our residents with tax relief. I’m pleased this legislation was approved with bipartisan support in the House and am hopeful by the end of session that we can convince the governor and the Senate to prioritize the pocketbooks of the middle class.

The House also approved our environment finance bill which I helped craft. Included are increased funding for Soil and Water Conservation districts to fund more “on the ground” projects, and a repeal of the current ‘Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Trailer Sticker/Decal’ law, and replacing it with a requirement that the boat owner sign an affirmation stating they will abide by AIS laws.

Moving forward, I also hope to work closely with Governor Dayton on his buffer idea, which would require perennially rooted vegetation adjacent to ditches. It is my hope we will adopt a plan that is flexible and recognizes that different sites should be treated differently. By increasing the use of buffers we can reduce pollution runoff and improve wildlife habitats.

Earlier this week I had a chance to sit down with the governor and his cabinet to discuss incorporating large scale water retention projects, which have the potential to accomplish many of the governor’s goals, and they liked the idea. These projects would definitely help clear up Minnesota waters, including the Mississippi River basin, and help our area and communities upstream address this problem. I look forward to working with Governor Dayton on this topic and hope for a resolution before session ends.

Keep in touch,
Denny

Representative Denny McNamara
365 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
651-296-3135
rep.denny.mcnamara@house.mn

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