Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up the 2013 session Monday at midnight.
There’s no grace period for new state senators. Whether it’s learning the mechanics of the legislative process and the issues themselves or gathering input from stakeholders and constituents, Sen. Susan Kent had to dive right in as a freshman lawmaker. Another thing she learned as the representative for Woodbury in the upper chamber: “No matter what I do, I get cranky emails.” The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up the 2013 session Monday at midnight. Kent (DFL-Woodbury) said she approached her public service with “reverence” and found her colleagues, many of whom were also first-term legislators, to be equally committed. “So impressed with the caliber of people,” she said. “They work hard. They care deeply. … These are smart, capable people…
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Kudos to both of Woodbury's state representatives for voting yes for marriage equality. Andrea Kieffer deserves much credit for having the courage to place principles over partisanship. Recognition should also be given to JoAnn Ward for doing the right thing. —Anthony Tedesco, Woodbury Like Patch on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our free newsletter
Monday, May 13, 2013
Gov. Mark Dayton's office announced a signing ceremony set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14.
As the state Senate passed a bill Monday that will make Minnesota the 12th state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry, Woodbury Sen. Susan Kent said the legislation is about “fairness, equality, rights and justice.” The bill passed by 37-30 vote, and Gov. Mark Dayton announced a signing ceremony planned for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14. Last week, Woodbury Reps. Andrea Kieffer, a Republican, and JoAnn Ward, a DFLer, both voted in favor of the bill in the lower chamber. Below is Kent’s statement in full: “This bill is about fairness, equality, rights and justice. It is for loving, committed couples who need the protection that marriage provides so they can visit their partner in the hospital and their children have legal and emotional…
The Minnesota Senate was set to vote on the bill Monday.
We want to thank state Rep. Andrea Kieffer for supporting all families by voting "yes" on HF1054 this past Thursday. The vote was a truly historic moment for our state and her decision to support civil marriage equality will help ensure that Minnesota is a better place for all families to live and thrive. We recognize that this vote may not be politically popular for a Republican representative, so we are especially proud and grateful to be represented by someone who chose to stand up for freedom and fairness for all Minnesotans. —Denise and Tamara Peterson, Woodbury Like Patch on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our free newsletter
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
"I want to see our businesses grow, not our government."
As a long-time resident of Minnesota, I would like to voice my concern about the budget proposal that recently passed the House and Senate. The tax package includes new taxes that were intended to target high-income Minnesotans, but will actually impact small businesses. Small businesses drive our economy; they create local jobs for local people. Taxes that stunt small business growth will stunt the growth of our entire economy. Before our legislators implement taxes that will hurt our small businesses and threaten our economic growth, they should review the budget and eliminate wasteful spending. Too often it seems that new taxes are the answer to everything. I think our elected officials should work a little harder to draft a budget …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
"The education finance bill took significant steps to reducing property taxes, in addition to making the reforms and funding increase necessary to maintain our world-class education system," according to Kent, a first-term DFLer from Woodbury.
For the past 10 years, property taxes on Minnesotans have gone up almost 90 percent and are approaching an unsustainable level. Middle-class families and small businesses are being hammered by an ever-growing property tax burden. The Senate has passed legislation to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in needed relief to our local communities. Every single Minnesotan has felt the increase. It is a problem that was neglected for far too long. The education finance bill took significant steps to reducing property taxes, in addition to making the reforms and funding increase necessary to maintain our world-class education system. The education finance bill buys back $150 million in school levies. Local governments are able to remove …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The Republican outlines her thoughts on the Crosswinds school issue, bills she has authored this session and other matters facing the Legislature.
We’re nearing the end of the 2013 legislative session in St. Paul, but we still face some tough decisions on spending over the next month. I would like to provide you with a general overview from the legislature as well as some specific issues I have been working on for you this year. I am first and foremost concerned that proposals this year to raise taxes and fees by nearly $3 billion, coupled with the bonding proposals that increase our debt, create a deadly combination that will jeopardize our economic progress. Therefore, you will not find me voting in support of most of the omnibus bills that come to the House floor this session. I continue working with the Department of Labor and Industry regarding workers' compensation advisory …
“The increased income tax on the third tier of Minnesotans would put us at the high end of income tax rates in the nation, and I am unable to support that,” she said.
The DFL-led Senate on Monday passed an omnibus tax bill on its second vote. Sen. Susan Kent, a first-term DFLer who represents parts of Woodbury, voted against the bill twice. By raising income taxes on the state’s highest earners, increasing cigarette taxes and adding sales tax to clothing and some services, the bill would raise an additional $1.8 billion over the next biennium, according to a Pioneer press report. In a statement, Kent said there were a number of positive items in the bill, “but mixed with one primary negative one that I could not support because of the feedback I’ve heard from constituents—the income tax increase on the third tier.” “I appreciate the important and meaningful tax reforms in the bill, including a lower …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
"Before taking another dime from our hardworking taxpayers, shouldn’t we go line-by-line through our budget and cut the waste?" says Woodbury resident Kelly Fenton.
On Wednesday evening, April 24, 2013, while you were tucking your children into bed, the Minnesota House Democrats passed a $2.6 billion tax increase. This breaks down to $547 for every man, woman, and child. This is the largest tax increase for Minnesota in over 30 years. In short, the Democrats raised taxes on each and every hardworking Minnesota taxpayer. Everyone will pay more for alcohol, tobacco, sports memorabilia, car rentals and more. Despite promising during last fall’s campaign to “tax the rich,” Democrats have proven themselves unable to say no to any and all special interests who want to grow the size of government. What’s worse, this tax bill raises income taxes on over 30 percent of Minnesotans. You read that correctly: …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The bill was Kent’s first to pass through the state Senate.
A phony 911 call in Oakdale in September 2012 was part of the impetus for Sen. Susan Kent's introduction of legislation that would create criminal charges and establish penalties against those who make emergency calls under false pretenses. The bill, Senate File 1168, is Kent’s first to pass out of the Senate. She is a first-term DFLer from Woodbury. Kent recalled the phony call in Oakdale, saying police could have shown up with guns drawn. Fortunately, police sensed something was awry, and a full response wasn't sent. Still, such situations can put “(officers) and residents at risk,” Kent told Patch. The bill would also make it a felony to use multiple communications devices to “interfere with, overload, or otherwise prevent the emergency…