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Legislative wrap up


Thu, May 29th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Jeremy Miller

Senator serving Fillmore, Houston and Winona Counties

The 2014 legislative session wrapped up with the legislature adjourning Sine Die on Friday, May 16. While this session was hectic and demanding, it was also very productive. We passed significant tax relief, much needed COLA increases for those who provide support and services to our most vulnerable Minnesotans, income tax reciprocity and strengthened synthetic drug laws in our state.

Before getting into session highlights, I would like to take this time to thank all of my constituents for their ideas, concerns, feedback and passion throughout this legislative session. It is an honor to serve as your State Senator.

Included in this update are some of the key bills and achievements of this session. As always, if you ever have any questions, concerns or comments, or if I can ever be helpful on issues facing the state, please do not hesitate to contact me at sen.jeremy.miller@senate.mn or at 651-296-5649.

Tax Relief

In February, The Office of Minnesota Management and Budget released an economic forecast projecting a $1.2 billion General Fund surplus for the state of Minnesota. As a result of this surplus, the legislature passed two Omnibus Tax Bills this session which provided tax relief for Minnesotans.

The first bill used $578 million of the $1.2 billion surplus, $426 of which was in net tax reductions and another $150 million was added to the budget reserve.

Additionally this tax bill contained major provisions to conform state law to the federal tax code which totaled $200 million in tax reductions. These included deductions for mortgage insurance premiums, educator expenses as well as excluding employer provided education assistance. This allowed students to deduct their student loan interest, qualified tuition and other related expenses. The bill also included relief from the marriage penalty.

Notably, this tax bill provided $232 million in tax reductions by repealing all three business-to-business sales taxes passed in 2013. These included the repeal of the tax on labor service charges for repair and maintenance of business equipment and machines, repeal of the tax on telecommunications equipment and repeal of the tax on storage and warehousing services of business related goods.

Furthermore, there .....
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Why I am a Democrat

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Steve Colbert recently pointed out that the “2 percent” of wealthy people in the United States are a “minority”, therefore Democrats should be nice to them! On C-SPAN an elderly man was interviewed. He said that being part of the “top 1 pe ..... 
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Guest Commentary

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Eleanore Jones Taxpayers fund one-third of abortions in Minnesota, according to figures released in early April by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. This is cause for serious concern and discussion. Consider, first, some history. Begin ..... 
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Obamacare will cost Minnesota’s schools $200 million

Fri, May 23rd, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

If you weren’t a fan of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before, you’re about to like it even less. We’ve heard from the people who were kicked off of their health insurance thanks to Obamacare. We’ve heard from those who are not able to see th ..... 
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Bad to be good

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Is there any value to being good? It seems to me that, the more I read and the more I experience, being good can be more of a liability than a virtue in the years that have followed the terrorist attacks, the two wars, and the 2007 meltdown. Think ..... 
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One Moment, Please... The Choking Game?

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Parents of school-aged children have a lot of things to keep their eyes on as they raise them to adulthood. And, those years seem to be just as much learning years for the parents as they are for their children. When our children have homework, t ..... 
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SWCD commentary: Matching machinery size to the landscape

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Brian Hazel, Lanesboro Tim Gossman, Chatfield Leonard Leutink Jr., Spring Valley Pamela Mensink, Preston Travis Willford, Harmony An article recently published by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa speaks to proble ..... 
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Logic of the left: Examining the mindset of ultra liberals

By Jeff Erding

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

“Only in America would people who want to balance the federal budget and follow the Constitution be demonized and labeled as “radicals” and “conservative wing-nuts!” “Quote from my friend Kerry, a businessman from British Columbia, Canad ..... 
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One Moment, Please... More than a bunch of garbage

Mon, May 5th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Jason Sethre Publisher Fillmore County Journal Cell: 507-251-5297 jason@fillmorecountyjournal.com This past Saturday, April 26, the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce, Preston Lion’s Club and City of Preston hosted the first annual “Prest ..... 
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