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 state’s latest economic forecast projects a budget deficit of $188 million for the current two-year biennium, and a $586 million deficit for the 2020-21 biennium
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s 2018-19 operating budget.
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