03/10/14 Floor Votes Motion to Suspend the Rules and bring up HF1777 for emergency consideration This motion would

have allowed the Senate to take up the roughly $500 million dollar tax repeal bill that has already passed in the House. The motion would waive the required timeline for moving a bill through the Senate committees and to the floor. I voted ‘Yes’ on the motion. As many of these taxes have not been implemented yet, the lack of resolution around the tax environment is causing unnecessary uncertainty for Minnesota businesses. Urgency is prudent to ensure that the state does not see any harm done to our in-state companies. The motion failed 26-38 Final Passage on SF1952 – A bill for an act relating to the ratification of labor agreements and compensation plans;.. This bill ratifies eight collective bargaining agreements and three compensation plans approved the Legislative Subcommittee on Employee Relations. Items included in the contract were: A 3% increase across the board. “Step” increases of up to 3.5% for eligible employees (about half) Beginning Jan. 2015, employees pay 5% for single healthcare coverage Small increase in employee travel expenses

This bill will cost an additional $253 million in the next two years. While this bill makes a small step in the right direction on employee health care contributions, it still exacerbates the disparities between the average private sector employee in Minnesota compared to public sector. While the average state worker in Minnesota earns $55,822, not including health or retirement benefits, the average private sector employee earns $45,260. Minnesota should pay our state employees a fair salary for the great service they provide the state. This contract unfortunately leaves many Minnesotans who are footing the bill for these services on the hook for salaries and benefit packages that they themselves do not receive. We should work harder to ensure that salary, health care and retirement benefits are closer aligned to the realities of all Minnesotans, not just those who are fortunate enough to gain state employment.

I voted ‘No’. The bill passed on a vote of 43-22

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