The first bills introduced in a new legislature carry special symbolism, so Republicans continue to signal jobs and the economy are job one as they take control of the House and Senate. The $200 million Senate File One has a modest price tag, but lawmakers will pay for the business tax cuts with actual cuts to the budget. Chief author Sen. Geoff Michel said he’d like to make Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s budget unallotments permanent that would bring in $660 million. “Job creation I hope can be the marquee issue of the session” Sen. Michel said.
The bill cuts business income taxes in half over two years, freezes business property taxes and creates new regulatory deadlines for state agencies. Republican senators said the bill will be a work in progress that won’t come together until late in the session. “We come to this with humility” is how Sen. Michel described it. He wouldn’t say how many jobs the bill would create after often criticizing Democrats’ claims of job creation numbers in bonding bills over the years. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said she wanted to reach out to the DFL governor and DFLers in the Senate in job creation. House Republicans reveal HF1 later this afternoon.