Senate Republicans deliver bonding bill, tax cuts for main street businesses, increase public safety funding

(ST. PAUL, MN) – Today Senate Republicans passed a government financing bill that included bonding and tax relief for the entire state. The bill provides $200 million in tax relief for small businesses and farmers, $700 million in safe roads and bridges across the state, and also funds a pay raise for state troopers and pays for other law enforcement needs.

A top priority of Senate Republicans was Chapter 179 tax conformity for main street businesses and farmers. This change allows farmers and other small business owners to deduct large equipment purchases and will stimulate the economy with investments into their operations.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R- East Gull Lake) said, “We have been talking about Chapter 179 for years. It is sometimes harder to get something we all agree on done, but we are taking the opportunity today to move this important tax provision forward. Farmers and small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Chapter 179 conformity will allow them to invest in their operations and keep growing their business in these challenging times.”

In the supplemental budget portion of the budget, public safety is prioritized. This week, Senate Republicans released a report highlighting the inaction from Governor Walz resulted in an increase in destruction and violence during riots this summer. The bill does not provide funds to rebuild businesses that were damaged but does reimburse law enforcement agencies for their work in quelling the riots. It also includes a pay raise to State Troopers.

“As Chair of the Public Safety and Judiciary committee, I stand with our dedicated law enforcement officers,”said Senator Warren Limmer (R – Maple Grove). “After a summer of rioting and COVID concerns, the State Troopers that have protected the state are certainly deserving of a pay raise, and it’s only right that we reimburse the law enforcement partners that walked into a volatile situation this summer, a situation that could have been prevented had the Governor acted more decisively.”

The bill bonds for $1.87 billion in projects, prioritizing important safety needs across the state. $700 million is for safe roads and bridges and $300 is for in wastewater treatment improvements. “This bill is a great big compromise and an investment in our people,” said Capital Investment Committee Chair Dave Senjem (R-Rochester). “From wastewater treatment to emergency response centers, to safe roads and bridges, every corner of our state will be better because of this bill.” The bill passed with bipartisan support and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his approval.

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