Our Spring Conversation panel stressed that Republicans need to celebrate what we were able to accomplish this session. These notable achievements in the areas of tax relief, transportation, health care and education are highlighted below.
Tax Relief: The 2017 Tax Relief bill delivers $650 million in tax relief to Minnesota families over the next two years, and $790 million in 2020-2021. This will be the largest tax relief package in nearly two decades!
- Nearly 284,000 senior citizentax returns (single and married filing jointly) will receive tax reductions; 72,000 of those will no longer pay state income tax on their social security benefits.
- A family of four making $50,000 a year will receive an additional $1,200 toward their child care expenses.
- 65,000 students will receive an average of a $414 reduction in their taxes through a new tax credit for student loan payments.
- Every Minnesota business owner will see relief from an “extra” business tax. Hometown businesses will now be able to exempt the first $100,000 of property value, a huge boost to our smallest mom-and-pop shops in all corners of the state
- 240,000 farmers will receive property tax relief to reduce their disproportionate share of school district debt service.
Transportation: To increase safety and reduce traffic congestion, roads and bridges work was funded without the governor's gas tax hike. This will be largest investment in road and bridge infrastructure in state history without a gas tax increase.
- A more than $300 million influx of funding for roads over two years, with an additional $16 million for small cities' road projects
- 97 bridges will be repaired or replaced statewide as a result of $25 million in funds for a new local bridge account.
- Republicans stopped state dollars from funding ongoing operating costs for the Southwest Light Rail boondoggle.
Healthcare: Before Obamacare and MNsure, Minnesota’s health care system was the envy of the nation, with successful, bipartisan programs providing affordable access for working families and those with chronic health conditions. Obamacare taxes and regulations upset our state’s ability to continue leading.
House Republicans have worked quickly this session to lower costs and increase options for nearly two hundred thousand Minnesotans who have seen three years of double digit increases and been restricted from seeing their doctors due to Obamacare.
- A 25 percent health insurance premium rebate and ensure continued access to doctors for patients receiving life-saving treatment.
- A suite of reforms passed by House Republicans provides more affordable options for small businesses and their employees, protects consumers from unfair billing practices, and allows organizations with member owners -- such as farm cooperatives -- to provide health insurance to their members. Furthermore, a new reinsurance law brings Minnesota closer to its pre-Obamacare system, where the relatively small pool of individuals and families who buy insurance on their own are not left to bear the cost of high risk individuals.
Education: The Pioneer Press hailed House Republican efforts as "one of the biggest reforms to state education policy in recent history.” The K-12 Education Budget partners more than $1.3 billion of increased funding with proven reforms.
- Ending the "Last In, First Out" default layoff policy so schools can keep the best teachers in the classroom.
- Expanding school choice through pre-K scholarships and defeating Governor Dayton’s one-size-fits-all approach of universal pre-K statewide.
- Overhauling the broken teacher licensure system to help hire more teachers to address the shortage.