The prorated income tax proposal for part-time Minnesota residents raises lots of questions ranging from fairness to enforcement to constitutional concerns.
The governor’s plan would invest an additional $340 million in early-education initiatives, voluntary all-day kindergarten and K-12 education.
The plan, though, immediately was rejected by groups representing interests ranging from lawyers to retailers.
They didn’t fully endorse a broadened sales tax but did get behind the concepts of property tax relief and a better-funded education system.
The governor’s plan also offers property tax relief and lowers – but broadens – Minnesota’s sales tax.
The exchange legislation, with a late-March deadline, likely faces a dozen similar legislative hearings and hours of floor debate.
Sen. Ann Rest presented the online sales plan, which has the support of Minnesota’s business community.
The Rules Committee voted down efforts to separatedoversight of farm issues from a committee that also handles environment and natural resources funding.
The Legislature has several options, such as replacing MinnesotaCare with a similar program or adding current participants to the planned state health insurance exchange.
The university has faced continuing scrutiny since a Wall Street Journal article singled it out as a prime example of “administrative bloat.”
Both agree on the health exchange, but the Senate also chose such issues as a minimum wage hike and funding for voluntary full-day kindergarten.
DFL leaders outlined their broad legislative priorities Wednesday but provided little in the way of detail.
Speaker Paul Thissen said other early proposals would deal with a state-based health insurance exchange and jobs.
Even before Tuesday’s opening day of the session, several DFLers already were talking about pushing gay marriage legislation and tightening gun control laws.
“Everything is secondary to the budget,” says Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk.
Myrna Nelson said she could feel public momentum shift as volunteers made their case against the proposed constitutional amendment.
It’s still waiting, though, for word on federal guidelines and a $39 million grant to run the program through the end of next year.
Several key Minnesota lawmakers are re-evaluating state firearm regulations and plan to hold hearings next session, following the Newtown school shootings.