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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Whatever happened to “Give it back?”

When news of a $1.9 billion taxpayer surplus broke in February, many Minnesotans anticipated some sort of tax relief would come. The Republican Party ran a campaign telling legislators to "Give it Back," in the form of $350 rebate checks, although the majority of Minnesotans said that tax cuts should be directed proportionately to those who paid the taxes.

Legislature fails on MnSure reform, sets up a $500,000 committee instead

The legislature finally completed its task of delivering a complete state budget on Saturday during a two-day special session, but the most problematic Minnesota state government program wasn't touched. Reforming MnSure, the state's Obamacare exchange created by the legislature n 2013, was largely cast aside for debates about universal PreK and waterway buffers.

Federal effort to tax online sales supported by Minnesota business lobby

The U.S. House voted Wednesday to permanently ban states from taxing internet access. The "Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act" passed the House unanimously. However, it may fail in the Senate where a measure could be added to the bill which would enable states to tax online retailers without a brick-and mortar presence.

Alpha News Report: CPA’s Speak Out

Minnesota CPA's speak out after feeling they are being portrayed in a negative light by the Minnesota State Auditor debate.

Alpha News Update: Legislative Deadline Reform

Senator Carla Nelson of Rochester is attempting to reform how lawmaking in Minnesota is done by proposing adding a fourth deadline for leaders to deliver budget targets to finance conference committees at the end of the session.

Free 2-year college plan to launch in Minnesota

Governor Mark Dayton failed in his push for $342 million to establish free PreK for all Minnesota 4-year olds, although he succeeded in negotiating for a total of $104 million to expand his tax-funded PreK scholarship program. Dayton and Democrats achieved another state education victory by establishing a new $8.5 million program called the "MnScu College Occupational Scholarship" which will pay for tuition and fees for 1,600 recent Minnesota high school graduates or GED recipients.

A deal with the Governor to borrow $373 million, up from $107 million that...

While it used to be the case that odd years at the legislature were for budgeting, and even years for bonding, the politicians now pass bonding bills annually. While budget bills are still in limbo, legislative leaders and the Governor have agreed to a bonding bill for the upcoming special session.

Federal taxpayers and Legacy funds pay for $3 Million bike bridge

In anticipation of a special legislative session and passage of a Legacy funds bill, Alpha News is taking a look at one of the past projects funded by the constitutionally-mandated sales tax.

Special Session Latest

This week more than 9,000 State Employees are receiving layoff notices stating that they will be laid off if the legislature and Governor cannot pass a budget by July 1st. Negotiations are making progress, but the final details still hang in the air.

Minnesota boaters in limbo, law to require DNR test on invasive species takes effect...

In 2012, when Republicans controlled the House and Senate in St. Paul, a law was passed to address invasive aquatic species. A bipartisan group of legislators at the time opposed the larger game and fish bill for varying reasons, but it still passed the House on a narrow 68-62 vote and in the Senate by a 34-28 vote.