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Continued: $2 billion tax plan wins final approval on deadline at Capitol

“This building has no lobbyist to shill for it. It has us, and we must not let it down,” Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City. “Our Capitol is the symbol of Minnesota. Let it stand solid and strong to serve future generations of Minnesotans long into the future.”

In a last-minute standoff, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL Cook, told lawmakers he would not end the session until the Capitol restoration was assured.

After little debate, the House passed the measure 121-10 and sent it to the Senate for final passage. Minutes later, the Senate passed the proposal 57-6 and sent it to Dayton.

Lawmakers also agreed to an election policy overhaul that allows anyone to vote absentee, changing the law that required voters to provide a reason they could not vote at their polling place. • 651-925-5046 651-925-5049 • 651-925-5044


  • What’s in and out

    2013 session closes

    Income tax increase: Married couples filing jointly making $250,000 or more in taxable income and singles earning $150,000 would pay a new 9.85 ­percent tax rate on income above those levels.

    Cigarette tax increase: Taxes on cigarettes would go up by $1.60 under the tax bill, more than doubling the tax per pack.

    Alcohol tax increase: There will not be an increase. In the final deal, lawmakers and the governor decided to leave the booze tax alone.

    Sales tax on clothing: Despite much talk, lawmakers agreed not to tax clothing.

    “Snowbird” tax increase: The state won’t try to capture income taxes from people who live half the year in Minnesota and half out of state.

    Vikings stadium funding: Some of the increased cigarette tax revenue would be used to provide backup funding for the state’s share of building the new stadium.

    Minimum wage increase: Was all but dead late Monday. Early in the session, DFL lawmakers made increasing the minimum wage a top priority. But as of Monday evening, House and ­Senate leaders had not agreed on a rate.

    Mayo/Rochester rebuild: Lawmakers infused $585 million in state and local tax dollars into Rochester to spruce up the town and allow building of what Mayo is calling its “Destination Medical Center.”

    All-day kindergarten: This key DFL goal will be funded and will begin in the fall of 2014. Districts will have the option of providing or not providing all-day kindergarten, but it will be free for parents where it is offered.

    Early childhood scholarships: Another DFL goal funded, increasing money available to needy parents.

    Tuition freeze: With $250 million in new state spending on higher education approved by the Legislature, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will freeze state tuition.

    Immigrant tuition: Under the “Dream Act” in the higher-ed bill, undocumented students who attended Minnesota high schools for at least three years and want to become citizens will be allowed to get in-state tuition and be eligible for grants. About 750 students are expected to be eligible.

    Nursing-home workers raises: Nursing home caregivers will get a 5 percent pay increase, their first in years.

    Capitol improvement: Renovation of the State Capitol will continue with $109 million from a bonding bill approved Monday. The $176 million measure also has $18.9 million for a new Minneapolis Veterans Home building.

    Lawmaker salary: Legislators did not raise their pay but did put a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to give the power over their pay to an independent panel.

    Gas tax increase: It won’t happen. Nor will a metro sales tax for transit.

    Unionization: A bill passed allowing home child-care providers and personal care assistants to decide whether to unionize.

    Same-sex marriage: As of Aug. 1, same-sex marriage will be legal in Minnesota.

    Session wrapup

    • Income taxes would increase on higher income Minnesotans; $2.1 billion in new taxes total.

    • Rochester would get $585 million to spruce up the town and expand Mayo Clinic.

    • Cigarette tax would increase $1.60 a pack.

    • Legislators want to end self-raises. B1

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