Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Minnesota legislators are debating a new sales tax on licensed clothing, sports memorabilia and luxury suites to cover the state's share of Vikings stadium construction costs.
Do you want to pay sales tax on Twins, Wild and Timberwolves sports memorabilia and licensed clothing to help the State of Minnesota raise money to build the new Vikings stadium? E-pulltab revenues to fund the new Minnesota Vikings stadium have fallen short, so the Minnesota House of Representatives Taxes Committee is considering a new tax on sales of sports-related items to help fill the gap. Watch the House committee debate the issue at its Wednesday meeting starting at 12:30 p.m. above or at TheUpTake.org. The bill (see PDF) by Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington) would tax "'Sports memorabilia' ... items available for sale to the public that are sold under a license granted by any professional sports league or a team that is a …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
A bill that changes the way state aid is calculated could start money flowing into city coffers again.
After years without local government aid, Hopkins could see payments balloon to nearly $300,000 under a new proposal that would inject tens of millions of dollars into the system and change the way those millions are distributed. The bill by Moorhead Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-4A) would add $80 million to the $426 million that the state is scheduled to spend on local government aid (LGA) in 2014. It would also create a new formula that adjusts aid based on its “aid gap”—a product of how the formula determines “unmet need,” according to the House Research bill summary. For so-called “large cities” that have more than 10,000 people, including Hopkins, the formula considers three factors in determining need per capita: LGA is intended to help cities …
Friday, March 22, 2013
The District 46 legislator, who represents Hopkins and St. Louis Park, voted in favor of a proposal to tighten gun control measures Thursday.
Hopkins and St. Louis Park Rep. Steve Simon was among the 10 legislators in the House Public Safety Committee on Thursday who advanced a bill that would require background checks for private sales at gun shows. The committee passed the bill on a mostly party line vote—although Rep. John Ward, a Baxter DFLer, voted with Republicans against the bill. The bill also contains The bill does not require universal background checks on gun sales because the idea did not have enough supporters on the committee. However, the Senate version of the bill requires universal background checks and an amendment is likely to be offered on the House floor. The bill also contains less-controversial measures to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them…
Friday, March 15, 2013
The bill would require background checks for most gun sales and broaden the definition of who can’t own guns—among other changes.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday split on a party-line vote in approving a bill that contains key gun control provisions pushed by District 46 Sen. Ron Latz. The bill would change gun laws to: The approval of the Judiciary Committee—on which Latz is the chairman—follows days of gun control debate in the committee. Critics argued that background checks are overly inconvenient and that they won’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals, who won’t submit to background checks anyway. Latz—whose district includes Golden Valley, Hopkins, Plymouth and St. Louis Park—countered that it’s just a minor inconvenience and that his intent isn’t to stop gun sales or track who has firearms. “It simply proposes to provide what I would term a very…
Monday, March 11, 2013
With a proposed business-to-business sales tax off the table, the state isn’t able to fund the property tax rebate.
On Friday morning, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that he is taking a business-to-business sales tax plan out of his revised budget. The news was overwhelmingly welcomed by businesses, whose leaders had criticized the proposal since its inception. But it also forced Dayton to remove another plank in his budget plan: a $500 property tax rebate for families. Patch wants to know how you feel about this trade-off. How would you have used the property tax rebate? What will you have to forgo now that it’s gone? Was the property tax rebate even a good idea in the first place? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Legislature is considering proposed upgrade to vague state statutes.
Tuesday afternoon, Minnesota state senators and advocates gathered at the State Capitol to hear details of a proposed new anti-bullying law that would beef up the state's vague bullying laws. The bill, written by Southwest Minneapolis' Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61) and Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-63A) would require the state Department of Education to track and publish bullying data alongside the academic data it already collects. The bill would also require individual districts to have anti-bullying policies that protect students based on disability and sexual orientation, among others—current law only covers bullying based on sex, race, and religion. The bill includes religious and free speech protections and offers districts training resources …
Monday, March 4, 2013
District 46 Sen. Ron Latz spoke to the committee about the bill Thursday.
Sen. Ron Latz (District 46) persuaded fellow Senate Judiciary Committee members to support the “Minnesota Child Victims Act” that he co-authored. The committee voted 5-3 on Thursday to approve a bill that would end the statute of limitations that requires victims of sexual abuse to file a lawsuit within six years of becoming an adult. If the bill becomes law, victims could file a lawsuit at any time, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. Watch Latz speak to the committee in the video above. Latz—whose district includes Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley and Plymouth—told the committee that child sex abuse victims struggle to just tell their closest friends and family about what happened. Seeking legal action is even harder for…
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Minneapolis Sen. Bobby Joe Champion and Brooklyn Park Rep. Melissa Hortman introduced bills Thursday that would also help people walking, bicycling, or using wheelchairs.
A pair of legislators on Thursday introduced a $332 million proposal with a new transit tax, adding to the growing number of proposals to fund transit. Minneapolis Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL District 59) and Brooklyn Park Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-District 36B) are proposing to spend an additional $300 million per year in the metro and $32 million in Greater Minnesota on transit and connections for people walking, bicycling or using wheelchairs. Click on the PDFs to the right of this article to read the full bills. "Across the state, people want more options and support investment in public transportation. And they want bicycling and walking to be part of that investment,” a news release quoted Hortman, the chief author of the bill in …
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The governor’s budget would give Hopkins $50,000, which would go toward the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
Hopkins is scheduled to once again receive $50,000 in Local Government Aid under Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal—but city officials aren’t penciling it into their budget quite yet. Hopkins received $50,000 in aid each year between 2002 and 2007 that went to the Hopkins Center for the Arts. That amount was cut in half in 2008 and then disappeared altogether after that. Dayton's plan would set aside $80 million for LGA, which would mean Hopkins would start receiving an annual $50,000 allotment again, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. That money would then resume flowing to the arts center, which has struggled to become self-sustaining, said Hopkins Finance Director Christine Harkess. The proposal is scheduled for a hearing…
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Watch live video at 10 a.m. Wednesday as he introduces the legislation at a press conference.
Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-District 46B), whose district includes Hopkins and St. Louis Park, is among the authors of a bill that will allow same-sex marriage in Minnesota, according to a Minnesotans United news release. On Wednesday morning, Simon, Minneapolis Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-District 61) and Minneapolis Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-District 62A) will discuss the bill they authored and why they think it’s important to pass the legislation in 2013. United Church of Christ Minnesota Conference Minister Karen Smith Sellers, Rabbi Michael Latz of Shir Tikvah Congregation and others will join the legislators at tomorrow’s event. The legislation is not yet posted on the Minnesota Legislature’s website. Watch the press conference live at 10 a.m. in …