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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Persell (DFL)

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House passes Jobs & Local Projects and Critical Economic Development Legislation

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

SAINT PAUL - Today, the Minnesota House passed Jobs & Local Projects and Critical Economic Development legislation that invests in infrastructure and economic stimulus to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation invests $1.879 billion toward public assets such as clean water infrastructure, higher education institutions, roads and bridges, parks, trails, and more. It also contains supplemental state budget appropriations and a series of tax provisions. 

"Now more than ever, we need to update our aging infrastructure and ensure communities can maintain services that Minnesotans depend on like clean drinking water and safe roads," said Rep. John Persell (DFL - Bemidji). "Investing in local jobs and projects will create good-paying jobs across the state and quicken our economic recovery. Our state is strongest when we put people before politics and come together to deliver results, and this bill will help Minnesotans get through this crisis and thrive for yearts to come." 

The legislation contains funding for projects such as Bemidji's water treatment plant, Deer River's sewer and water system, the Northwest Indian Community Development Center, and more. A full list of included projects can be found here. 

In addition to investments in our aging infrastructure, the bill delivers funding for a temporary pay raise for personal care assistants, $16 million for direct care and treatment programs, $10.3 million to ensure sexual assault examination kits get tested, a salary increase for state troopers to keep them in line with other law enforcement agencies, and $7.5 million to prevent the closure of two correctional facilities at Togo and Willow River. 

The bill also contains a series of tax provisions, including full section 179 conformity for the federal tax code which will help businesses and farmers. It contains a policy fix for short-term rental properties, flexibility for the Minnesota State High School League's sales tax proceeds, and an expansion of the homestead property tax exclusion for the spouses of deceased disabled veterans.