Last Day in Session - May 20, 2013
Posted on 20 May 2013Here is a post Rep. Sandra Masin posted on her blogsite today at 8:35pm:
This is the last day of session and it has been a busy one so far. I'll point out some of the highlights, but contact me if there is a particular item of interest to you.A Budget Issues Update from the Capitol
Posted on 15 May 2013Hello Friends and neighbors:
A brief update on the budget issues we are dealing with this week. Take a look!
Letter to the Editor: Standing up for victims, wages
Posted on 10 May 2013The Sun-ThisWeek published the following letter to the editor from Rep. Sandra Masin:
Standing up for victims, wages
By LETTER WRITER on May 9, 2013 at 9:46 am
To the editor:
We are in the final stages of the 2013 Legislative Session and the activity is quite intense. The House has passed its budget bills and they are now in the conference committee process. It is important to remember that the governor, the House and the Senate all put forward budget bill and it is in the conference committees where the compromise and consolidation of all three takes place. While the there may be differences of opinion, there is a lot of give and take, and we can learn a lot from one another simply by being willing to talk to those that disagree with us.
One other very important bill we passed last week was the Child Victims Act. Right now, people who were assaulted as children have until age 24 to file a claim in court. After the age of 24, they have absolutely no ability, under the law, to file a lawsuit against an abuser. Depression, substance abuse, and many other challenges are common for victims of this kind of abuse, and now those victims have a way to address some of that suffering because the Child Victims Act removes the age 24 restriction.
Last week, we also passed an increase in the state minimum wage. The current minimum is set at $6.15. The new wages will go up gradually over the next few years until they reach $9.50 in 2015 for large employers and $8.50 for small employers. The increase in wages not only helps workers; it will also help businesses and the state economy because consumers will be able to spend more money on food, clothes, and housing when they otherwise might be left to utilize state support programs.
As always, I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
[Retrieved from http://sunthisweek.com/2013/05/09/standing-up-for-victims-wages/ on 5-11-2013 at 2:52pm]
MINNESOTA HOUSE PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL MINNESOTANS
Posted on 9 May 2013Here is a Press Release from Representative Sandra Masin about today's vote in the MN House:
Minnesota House of Representatives
MINNESOTA HOUSE PASSES MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL MINNESOTANSST. PAUL, MN – Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Marriage Equality Act, ensuring that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry the person they love. The historic vote passed on a vote of 75 to 59 with bipartisan support.
"Minnesota is a place where we treat others the way we'd like to be treated and today the golden rule is shining bright," said Speaker Paul Thissen. "All Minnesotans deserve the freedom to marry the person they love and we are proud to take this historic vote to ensure same-sex couples have that right."
"I remember playing with my mother's veil as a little girl, knowing even then marriage was special and something I wanted for myself. As an adult, I was free to make that choice. Today, we voted to make sure all Minnesotans have that same right," said House Majority Leader Erin Murphy. "Freedom is ringing in Minnesota with wedding bells for all Minnesotans who will soon be able to marry the person they love."
The bill author, Rep. Karen Clark (DFL – Minneapolis), has been a champion for marriage equality for decades at the State Capitol. She delivered the final remarks before the bill passed off the House floor:
"We are strengthening the meaning of marriage by opening it up to those that are committed to each other as a same sex couple," said Clark.
The Marriage Equality Act passes the Minnesota House after a two year journey in which Minnesotans have been engaged in a conversation about marriage equality.
This bill would allow civil marriages for all Minnesotans, like the kind you get at City Hall and protect religious freedoms for congregations or clergy who do not support same-sex marriage. The religious protections in the bill are widely considered to be the strongest of any state that has legalized same-sex marriage.
The Minnesota Senate is expected to vote on marriage equality on Monday, May 13t.th. Governor Dayton has signaled he would sign the bill into law, making Minnesota the 12th state in the country to recognize marriage equality.
Minnesota House DFL Caucus
Phone: Office: (651) 296-4169 Cell: 612-207-7396
>>> Michael Howard 5/9/2013 4:12 PM >>>
Rep. Sandra Masin - E-update April 25, 2013
Posted on 25 April 2013We passed several key bills this week. And the one thing they all have in common is this: We are putting together a budget that is balanced and responsible. There are no gimmicks. There are no one time shifts. There are no funds borrowed from our schools.
Instead, we are mitigating all the damage done by the previous Legislature. We are paying back over $800 million in school shift funding that needs to be paid back and we are making up for over $600 million of budget deficit left over from last biennium. Even with those huge deficits to pay back, we are making significant investments in schools, property tax relief, and jobs. All of those investments are going to be very positive for our state.
One area where we still have work to do is transportation. Unfortunately this session we were not able to make significant investments in our transit systems. We need to make repairs to our roads and bridges, we need to add transit lines with buses and rails, and we need to implement a system that can pay for all these projects. It's going to be a challenge. But it's absolutely necessary.
Transportation affects the job market because everyone needs a dependable route to work. It impacts our education system because student need different options when they need to attend classes. It impacts individual families because they have to pay hundreds of dollars a year in gasoline alone when they're stuck on the interstate in rush hour traffic. More investments in transit would alleviate much of this congestion by giving people more options to get from point 'a' to point 'b'.
So with all the good work we're doing, we know there is more to do. I'm very proud of the budget we've put together this session. But it makes me even more eager to work on a big picture transportation plan moving forward. As always, you can find more updates on my work at the Capitol by looking at my blog, sandramasin.org/blog
Legislative E-update April 11, 2013
Posted on 11 April 2013Dear friends and neighbors,
This week was very significant for the state of Minnesota. We now have our jobs, bonding, and education bills up for consideration in the House and each of them is going to be very beneficial for our economy.
In particular, our bonding bill will have immediate impact on local communities. The bill allocates $800 million in general obligation bonds for statewide infrastructure improvements and invests in higher education, transportation, housing, economic development, clean water and wastewater systems. Using the Associated General Contractors of America formula, it is estimated that 22,800 permanent, temporary and spin-off jobs will be created, giving a shot in the arm to the state's recovering economy.
Now these projects do cost money. We know that. But many of the improvements these projects make would only cost more if delayed. Now is the right time to bond because the interest rates on these bonds will be almost as low as they can get. Rather than waiting until interest rates and project costs go up, we need to put Minnesotans back to work now.
More people working means more people spending money at grocery stores and gas stations and fewer people relying on supportive programs. Those that have been out of work due to the recession may have the opportunity to get a new job and support their families. And that's going to be very positive for our economy.
Some other highlights of the Capital Investment Bill include:
Legislative E-update March 22, 2013
Posted on 22 March 2013Hi everyone,
As we approach the deadline to hear bills in committee, I have been working tirelessly to put proposals forward that will help our communities. One of those proposals will help the city of Eagan encourage quality redevelopment at the former Lockheed Corporation property.
During a committee meeting we had leaders from the city of Eagan at the capitol to testify in favor of this bill. It would grant TIF authority to the city of Eagan for the site at 3333 Pilot Knob Road. This will allow the city to encourage a new development on this site that will create more jobs for our local economy.
With a recovering economy, adding jobs is even more critical. Which is why I'm so pleased that Governor Dayton dropped his business to business tax from his budget proposal. I personally expressed my concerns about the business to business taxes to the Governor and I'm happy to see that he listened to my concerns and those of many Minnesotans.
The House DFL Caucus released our own budget targets this week and I'm pleased with the direction they are going. These targets are only an outline for how we want to prioritize various categories of programs across the state, so the specifics have yet to be worked out in terms of where each individual dollar goes. But what the targets do show is commitment to education (increase in funding for early education, K-12 schools, and higher education) and local communities (increase in Local Government Aid and County Program Aid), not to mention a $46 million increase in jobs and economic development funding over the previous budget. All of these priorities will help create jobs and strengthen our economy. And when the economy is strong, we are in a much better place to support other critical programs across the state.
So as we approach our Easter/Passover break I'll be working hard to bring proposals forward that support the working families in Eagan and Burnsville. And if you have any questions or ideas about work being done at the capitol, please feel free to contact me by email (email@example.com) or by phone (651-296-3533).
Rep. Sandra Masin Rep. Sandra Masin - Video Update March 13, 2013
Posted on 13 March 2013Hi everyone,
Here is a quick video updating you on what's going on this week at the capitol. Take a look!
Rep. Masin Video Update - Feb 28, 2013
Posted on 28 February 2013Hi Everyone -
I recently made a quick video update to fill you in on what I'm working on this week. Take a look!
Legislative Update - February 18, 2013
Posted on 18 February 2013Dear Neighbors,
Another week at the Legislature has begun and activity is starting to pick up as we passed our first pieces of legislation. As when I served in past years I am asking for your feedback on a legislative survey. I need your input on a variety of topics to help me make the best decisions for our community and Minnesota's future.
You can find my survey online by visiting here. If you would like a paper copy to fill out, please contact my office at 651-296-3533 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to send you a paper copy of the survey to fill out and return to my office. I look forward to hearing from you.
Tax ConformityThe House unanimously passed HF 6, known as Federal Tax Conformity, which adds clarity and simplicity to Minnesota's tax system by conforming to federal tax changes made in 2012. These changes will result in tax relief for middle class Minnesotans, including 55,000 teachers, 90,000 homeowners, 60,000 students and 32,000 small business owners.
Why does Minnesota need federal tax conformity?
Without this legislation, each taxpayer who claims any of the affected deductions will need to file a special form to calculate their Minnesota income tax liability. These taxpayers would need to "add back" the federal deductions and include that amount in their Minnesota income tax liability. All of this adds up to a lot of unnecessary confusion and problems.
If Minnesota does conform to the new changes, then Minnesotans would likely not need to change forms and taxpayers could file without making additional adjustments.
How many Minnesotans will be affected by federal tax conformity?
Conforming to federal tax year 2012 provisions provides simplicity and clarity for taxpayers.
Expansion of Medical AssistanceOn Monday, the House also passed HF 9 in a bipartisan vote, an expansion of Medical Assistance, which would reduce the number of Minnesotans without health insurance. Medical Assistance is Minnesota's Medicaid program. This bill would expand Medical Assistance to Minnesotans with income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. As a result, over 40,000 currently uninsured Minnesotans will be covered by insurance by 2016.
The federal government will be paying most of the cost, so while we will be insuring 40,000 more people, we'll be saving $129 million in this biennium and another $237 million in the next biennium.
Because more Minnesotans will be covered by health insurance, this will also reduce costly uncompensated care for the uninsured in Emergency Rooms. This reduces the hidden tax that is passed onto Minnesotans who do have health insurance and bear the cost for uncompensated care.
Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on any legislative issue. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-3533 or email me at email@example.com. Thank you for the honor of serving you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Posted on 16 February 2013I had the opportunity to watch the Metcalf Junior High School Chess Team in action on Saturday and Sunday. They are participating in a tournament at the Crown Plaza in Saint Paul. The impressive feature of this event is that you will see people of all ages playing. The students at this school have a strong tradition of winning and have received numerous awards over the years. It was a pleasure meeting with the students, their families, and the coaches. The dedication of all contributes to the remarkable achievements. Coach Ribnick has been with this program for almost three decades. Legislative Update - January 31, 2013
Posted on 31 January 2013Dear Neighbors,
On January 22, Governor Dayton released his budget proposal for the 2014-2015 Biennium. The Governor's budget recommendations serve a starting point for our work this session to resolve our $1.1 billion deficit and balance our state budget with a focus on a stronger economic future. I wanted to provide you with some of the proposals in the Governor's budget along with some context.
First of all, I'm pleased that Governor Dayton has put forward an honest budget that balances without the use of gimmicks or shifts. For too long, we've delayed making the tough decisions and the important investments that will lead to a stronger economy and stronger middle class. We must invest in education, from early education through higher education. Ensuring that every Minnesota child can receive a high-quality education will lead to innovation and economic prosperity.
Governor Dayton's budget includes $118 million in new K-12 funding, including $52 in new money for every student, $92 million in early learning, $40 million for optional all-day Kindergarten, and $240 million in new higher education funding.
Skyrocketing property taxes have hurt our seniors, businesses, and families over the last several years. The Governor's budget includes $1.4 billion in direct property tax relief through a $500 property tax rebate, and increases aid to local governments and counties by $120 million. Governor Dayton's budget would also provide $120 million in business property tax relief by freezing the state businesses property tax levy.
In addition to property tax relief for families and businesses, I will also be working to protect and potentially expand the Renter's Credit which goes to many people in our area, including seniors on fixed incomes.
The Governor's budget includes some additional reforms aimed at helping businesses. His budget proposes a new E-Fairness initiative, which would help level the playing field for local, Main Street businesses competing with online retailers like Amazon. It would also reduce the corporate income tax rate from 9.8 percent to 8.4 percent â€” the largest corporate tax cut in 26 years â€” while closing unfair loopholes that only benefit a few large corporations â€“ such as the loophole that allows corporations to shelter profits overseas.
Finally, the Governor's budget provides an upfront sales tax exemption for businesses purchasing new capital equipment. Right now, when businesses invest in new equipment, they pay sales tax and get reimbursed later. This change would simplify the process for our businesses.
The Governor's proposal is essentially the first step in the budget process. The next important step is the February Forecast. Over the next several weeks, we'll dive into the details of the Governor's proposal, listen to constituents, find areas of agreement, and work together to find common-ground on disagreements.
Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on any legislative issue. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-3533 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for the honor of serving you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Posted on 11 January 2013Dear Neighbors,
The 2013 Legislative Session is officially underway and on Tuesday I was sworn in as the state representative for District 51A. I'm honored to be returning to the Capitol on behalf of the people of Eagan and Burnsville. The people said loud and clear that they want their legislators to work together and focus on a fair and responsible budget, improving our schools and growing a strong middle-class economy.
There's a lot to be done over the next several months and we're ready to get to work. Economic forecasts revealed early last month that the state is facing a $1.1 billion budget shortfall this year. When the money still owed to schools and inflation is included, the shortfall rises to over $3 billion.
We need to decide what we value as Minnesotans - education, lower property taxes, a vibrant middle class - and then figure out how to fund our priorities and set our state up for future success.
With these difficult tasks ahead, we need to work on bipartisan solutions.
I attended the One Minnesota Legislative Conference at the Humphrey Institute on Wednesday where we heard from excellent speakers on budgets, taxes, jobs, and education. Former State Senators Linda Berglin and Duane Benson explained how they were able to pass legislation for MinnesotaCare and the importance of bipartisanship in achieving goals. Hopefully we will be able to carry on the long tradition of Minnesota legislators working together to achieve positive, long-term solutions.
This session I will be serving as the Vice Chair of the Transportation Policy Committee and as a member of the Energy Policy, Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries, and Transportation Finance committees. I'm very pleased to serve on these important committees - especially as the Vice Chair of the Transportation Policy Committee. Our roads and bridges are crumbing. We must also continue expanding our public transportation system to attract new businesses and young professional workers. Budgets are tight, but I'm focused on doing all that I can to improve our transportation system.
Finally, I was proud to sign on as a co-author to a bill that would begin paying back the money still owed to our schools. A world-class education system will grow our state's economy over the long haul. For too many years we've borrowed from schools, cut funding for state colleges, and ignored early childhood education. We need to pay back the money we still owe our schools, focus on education again and ensure that our schools have the adequate funding they need to help our children be successful.
Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on any legislative issue. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-3533 or by email at email@example.com .
Posted on 14 December 2012Part of the work Representatives do in the Minnesota House of Representative is work in committees which focus more narrowly (and deeply) on specific legislative and policy topics. The 2013-2014 Membership in the committees was published online.
Sandra Masin's assignments are as follows: Vice Chair of Transportation Policy, Transportation Policy, Civil Law.
You can read more details here. The meeting schedule for each of the committees is published here.
There is an excellent brochure about Legislative Committees here. Among the many items of useful information, the following description of what the Committees' role is:
The committee's roleSandra Masin Returns to the Minnesota House to Represent House District 51A
Posted on 7 November 2012The Secretary of State reports final results as of of 4:24am today. 11,724 votes cast for Sandy Masin, or 55.49%. It is a clear message from the people in Burnsville and Eagan!
Sandra Masin is now the Representative-elect for House District 51A in Minnesota, representing parts of Burnsville and Eagan.
Sandra Masin sends many THANKS to EVERYONE who helped and worked on the campaign, door knocked, phonebanked, and paraded with us and showed the strength of her candidacy.
The many organizations who endorsed Sandy and their members are a special group of people, and are deeply appreciated.
Congratulations, Sandra Masin!The Most Important Endorsement
Posted on 4 November 2012Sandy Masin released the following message tonight:
I am humbled and gratified by the support from the 20 organizations which endorsed my candidacy. The strong voice of the thousands of their members and that of the many volunteers in Eagan and Burnsville is deeply appreciated.
On November 6, please VOTE and join the following organizations in supporting Sandra Masin: AFL-CIO of Minnesota, AFSCME Minnesota Council 5, Clean Water Action, DFL (Democratic Farm Labor Party), DFL Veteran's Caucus, Education Minnesota, Minnesota Nurses Assn., MAPE, Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Assn., Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Planned Parenthood, SEIU State Council, Sierra Club, St. Paul Building Trades, Take Action, Teamsters Local 32, United Transportation Union, and Women Winning!Our Volunteers- the HEART of the Campaign
Posted on 4 July 2012
Some of our volunteers with Sandy Masin - thank you all!
NEW House District Number!
Posted on 23 February 2012The Special Minnesota Supreme Court Judicial Panel delivered its decision about Redistricting. Most of what used to be District 38A is now District 51A. A few changes are evident from the new map: The eastern border of the district is now Highway 35E. The northern border remains unchanged. In the southern side there are a few changes: a "jog" into the district south of Blackhawk near 35E, and of course on the western end a number of precincts from Burnsville were added to the District! Welcome Neighbors!!!
The district now extends all the way to the Dakota/Scott County border, just before Savage.
I am looking forward to visiting with you and meeting you and discussing with all of you the issues that touch your lives and livelihoods.
The change comes about in order to make House Districts more or less equal in size, and the Judges on the Panel tried to keep the nature of our community the same as before. So as a community we remain much the same.
My sincere and heart-felt gratitude goes to all of you were active and worked hard to make our "old" District 38A a great place to live and work.
You can find the new detailed map on the Minnesota House Map Website, or just click on the image below.
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About Sandra MasinA mother of three grown children, with more than twenty years of engagement in local politics and community events, Sandra is well known to many. If you haven't yet met Sandra, click here to find out more...