Senate Democrats Take Action on Key Issues

The second week of session saw a flurry of early activity as Senators met with constituents, announced new legislation, heard bills in committee, and prepared for upcoming debates on the issues important to Minnesotans. Amid news that the overall Price of Government (POG) is set to reach its lowest point in over two decades, Senate Democrats are moving forward with new plans to build on recent progress, renew trust in state government, and refocus attention on Minnesota’s transportation system.

The comprehensive and long-awaited Senate Transportation funding package was unveiled earlier this week, displaying Democrats’ emphasis on long-term stability for our state’s roads and bridges. The bill is certain to be one of the major issues of the year, as the House and Senate negotiate a long-overdue recommitment to our state’s crumbling infrastructure.

A tax conformity bill matching Minnesota law to recent federal tax provisions is receiving special treatment from Democrats and Republicans alike. As tax filing season opens next week, both parties are working to pass the bill as quickly as possible so taxpayers can take full advantage of the benefits. The bill contains a number of extensions on current credits and deduction; the bill also provides credits to promote clean energy use and deductions for almost 100,000 teachers and students in Minnesota.

In response to the recent challenges with MNsure’s rollout, the architect of the initial bill has introduced a proposal to bring additional accountability and oversight to MNsure. The bill would establish MNsure as a state agency, and the increased transparency is intended to address the concerns of elected officials and the public. MNsure will remain the access point for thousands of Minnesotans to acquire affordable health insurance, as well as grants and financial assistance; since its introduction, record numbers of families and individuals have gained healthcare coverage.

A number of other bills have been introduced this past week, including a child protection bill currently being discussed in the Health, Human Services, and Housing Committee and a number of initiatives designed to keep Minnesota’s education system one of the best in the country. As the session progresses quickly, Senate Democrats have lost no time getting back to work for all of Minnesota.

Senate DFL