Federal tax reform, which overwhelmingly benefits billion-dollar corporations and Republicans’ millionaire country club conservative buddies, got signed into law late last year. Senate Republicans waited until May 1 to release their first draft of changes to Minnesota’s tax code, and to no one’s surprise they followed the lead of their pals in Washington, D.C.
The Senate Republican plan lets big corporations keep their money parked overseas, tax-free. It gives a $338,000 tax cut to a handful of multi-millionaires. It makes it harder for Minnesotans to purchase affordable health insurance. It sets the state budget up for fiscal disaster and ballooning budget deficits, threatening services for children, seniors, and Minnesota families.
Senate Republicans know their plan is a dud because they gave Minnesota taxpayers less than 24 hours to read the bill and provide public comment before it was scheduled for a full Senate vote. DFL Senators believe that Minnesotans deserve to have their voices heard before huge changes to the state tax code are introduced, not after. Now the public gets less than two weeks to weigh in before a May 21 constitutional deadline. With tax hikes for 300,000 Minnesotans on the line if the Legislature fails to act, Republicans have once again waited until the last minute to solve a problem.
Senate DFLers stood unified for a number of tax bill amendments this week all aimed at the same goals: more tax relief for middle-income Minnesotans, converting expensive tax cuts for the wealthy into more money for K-12 school safety, and long-term budget stability.
Governor Mark Dayton and DFL Senators held a press conference this week in response to school districts struggling with massive budget shortfalls. The Governor called on the Legislature to allocate $137.9 million in one-time emergency aid for every school district across the state.
The Dayton Administration joined the Farmers Union this week in releasing a “Rural Voices Discussion” report to the public. The report is a call to action for legislators to address the needs of rural communities in the areas of health care, infrastructure, broadband access, and agricultural issues.