The House voted 76-57 Wednesday to pass the conference committee report on the omnibus tax bill, sending it to the Senate for consideration.
Sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) and Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), the nearly $1.13 billion bill was finalized by a conference committee Tuesday morning with minor tweaks to the fiscal output.
In a meeting that lasted less than 30 minutes, conferees adopted the report along party lines and moved the nearly $1.13 billion bill to the House Floor. When last considered by the committee, the bill sat at $1.31 billion.
Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Mpls) said an increase for the working family tax credit should have been included as well as additional property tax relief and aid to local governments.
“What isn’t in this billion-dollar tax bill is so disappointing,” she said.
Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth) said tax breaks for the state’s wealthiest people could instead be used to fund voluntary pre-kindergarten for 25,000 4-year-olds.
“That’s a choice,” Marquart said. “It’s very easy to do, but you’ve got to change your priorities.”
But Davids said there are many “false narratives” surrounding the bill and mentioned senior citizens, students, beginning farmers and working families among those who would benefit from it. He also listed more than two-dozen cities that would benefit.
“Even if you don’t want to vote for the bill, you should,” Davids said.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
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It was a day of selfies, swearings-in and standing ovations as the House opened the 2017-18 biennial session Tuesday.