There was one committee meeting of note as the House Tax Committee received input from the Department of Revenue and House staff on the issue of conformity with the changes brought about by the passage of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Several interesting documents were handed out that show how the Federal changes will impact Minnesota individual and business taxpayers and I will link those documents once they are posted online. One point that was stressed was if no changes are made, Minnesota taxpayers will be forced into a situation of great complexity that will require a lot of additional work--and confusing work at that--to complete tax forms. One thing that has to be mentioned--and this is where there will likely be some political sparring--is that Minnesota is currently not in complete Federal conformity on a number of policy points. One that leaps to mind is the estate tax, where the Federal exemption is much larger than that allowed under Minnesota law. Minnesota also has a number of credits and deductions that are not allowed on Federal returns. Balancing all of these items out will likely be a challenge, but it could open the door for a number of different approaches and vehicles to deliver tax relief to Minnesotans.
SF 2455--Clausen--Requires training in identifying dyslexia for teachers renewing their licenses.
SF 2465--P. Anderson--Includes sexual exploitation in the definition of sexual abuse prevention in a health curriculum.
SF 2466--Little--Creates enrollment preference for students living in or near Castle Rock Township.
SF 2477--Lourey--Creates funding category of enhanced debt service for school districts in unique situations.
SF 2487--Nelson--Provides for an academic balance policy.
SF 2492--Clausen--Requires Commissioner of Education to develop child abuse awareness posters.
SF 2500--Goggin--Modifies provisions on the transportation of nonresident districts in resident districts.
SF 2506--Wiger--Allows districts to automatically renew existing referendum authority by board approval.
SF 2507--Wiger--Increases safe schools levy.
SF 2508--Wiger--Establishes school facilities improvement revenue.
SF 2522--B. Anderson--Modifies Monticello ISD 882 special education revenue adjustment.
There were no additional E-12 education-related bill introductions from the bill introductions that were pre-filed on Friday, February 9, and described in the Monday, February 12, edition of this blog. Scroll back to that entry to get a description of the bills introduced in the House prior to the regular session.
Curious Move. On the floor today, the conference committee was announced for HF 947, a seemingly innocuous piece of legislation that calls for a clarification in the calculation of general education aid. I am scratching my head wondering what this could be about. The Senate changed one phrase in the bill last year, but the House did not concur with the change and a conference committee was appointed (the same conferees that served on the omnibus E-12 funding bill conference committee and who are serving on this conference committee again this year). Stay tuned.
Here are the conferees:
School Safety. Given the horrific event in Florida last week, school safety is bound to be discussed both inside and outside the education-related committees this year as the solution to this problem requires a very broad discussion. Kerri Miller had a very interesting program on her show on MPR this morning. I didn't catch it all, but what I did hear was very interesting.
Below is a link to the show:
Here are links to the organizations run by her two guests: