Rep. McNamara supports state House tax bill
Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, says the tax bill approved Friday by the Minnesota House of Representatives makes up the projected $160-million shortfall and does a few more things, too.
"Our budget makes up the expected shortfall," McNamara said. "This will help to create a positive cash flow."
The bill also increases the state's reserve account to $290 million and provides for a possible casino at Canterbury Downs and the almost $40 million in increased revenues as the result of it.
The House bonding bill does not contain money for the proposed City of Hastings interpretive center. The city had requested $1 million in funding for the project.
"We didn't get the funds in the bill, but there's certainly a chance, when this bill and the one from the Senate goes to conference, that we can request the funds," McNamara said. "My hope is that we can get it in the bill."
McNamara said he is pleased that a bill he authored to ban phosphorus from fertilizers passed the House on April 19.
"I'm hopeful that it will pass the Senate," he said. "We did enact a law two years ago to ban it in the seven-county area, and this will expand it statewide. It does allow people with new lawns to use phosphorous to get the lawns started.,"
The bill to lower the legal alcohol limit from .10 to .08 has passed both the House and the Senate, but with different effective dates. The House bill does not become effective until 2007, the Senate bill almost immediately. The bill is now in a conference committee. McNamara hopes the effective date is much sooner than 2007.
"It's a good bill, and it will save lives," he said.
Both the House and Senate have passed a bill that could lead to the construction of another building at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Hastings. The bill would provide extended leasing authority to the Minnesota commissioner of administration to allow the Minnesota Veterans Home Board to lease property for 60 years at $1 per year from the State of Minnesota.
The agreement would require that the lease to establish supportive housing for veterans and Dakota County residents with disabilities.
The proposed building would provide independent housing for residents while providing supportive services on a long-term basis.
McNamara authored the bill in the House, and Sen. Sharon Marko, DFL-Cottage Grove, authored the bill in the Senate.
"I think this is a great idea," McNamara said. "There's a shortage of housing for this type of project."
Any possible construction is about a year away, according to Steve Musser, chairman of the Minnesota Veterans Home Board.
McNamara was unanimously endorsed for a second term in the House of Representatives at the district Republican convention April 13 at the Red Barn VFW in Cottage Grove.