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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update (1-16-15)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

It was a busy first week at the Capitol so I want to update you on some of the work that has already begun here in St. Paul.

Federal Tax Conformity Bill Passes House

On Thursday, the Minnesota House passed HF 6 which will retroactively conform Minnesota’s individual income tax and corporate taxes to most federal changes. The bill is now awaiting approval from the Senate after which it will then be sent to the Governor.

Federal tax conformity is a provision that the Legislature passes yearly to help ease the tax filing process for taxpayers and the professionals who assist in their tax preparation and to ensure that Minnesotans are able to receive all deductions to which they are entitled. I am glad that we were able to get this bill passed before January 20, which is the date the tax filing season begins.

Here is a list of just a few of the federal tax changes that Minnesota will conform to for the 2014 tax year:

  • Extending the higher education tuition deduction

  • Extending the educator classroom expense deduction

  • Extending itemized deduction for mortgage insurance premiums

  • Extending the authority for individuals age 70½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 from an individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA directly to a qualified charity

  • Extending various provisions related to depreciation and expensing

In total, this bill provides $19.9 million dollars in immediate tax relief to hardworking Minnesotans for the recently concluded tax year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This coming Monday, January 19th, marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the United States. House offices will be closed this day in observance. Martin Luther King Jr. Day became an official federal holiday in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill into law. The holiday was officially observed for the first time in 1986.

When I was a teacher, I would often require students to read Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The methods Dr. King employed in achieving change by treating everyone with respect, despite disagreements, and bringing people together, not tearing them apart, are timeless lessons that are still relevant today. You can read Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech here.

2015 March for Life

The 2015 March for Life rally will be held Thursday, January 22 on the front steps of the Capitol. The program is set to begin at noon. I encourage you to attend and be a part of the thousands of individuals who will gather across the country on that day to protest peacefully our nation’s abortion laws. Unfortunately, I will not host a reception following this year’s event because of limited space as a result of the capitol renovation project. Please dress warmly if you are planning to attend.

As always, feel free to contact me if you ever have a question or comment regarding the Legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at


Sondra Erickson

State Representative, 15A