2012 Legislative Session Review
We accomplished a great deal during the 2012 legislative session. The legislation we have worked on will help continue to reform government, streamline regulations, and improve opportunities for everybody. We passed two strong tax relief packages that are important for homeowners and businesses, job seekers and job creators. Our state economy is slowly beginning to turn around, and our tax policy would have helped create long-term, sustainable growth, not just short term fixes. Amid the media hype surrounding the stadium issue, it is easy to forget that many other topics were addressed. The issues are difficult, and there are no easy answers. At times, emotions are strained and debates heated, but that is democracy in action. All of the work we did has been in the best interest of our constituents and the communities we serve.
Capitol Address: 306A State Capitol St. Paul, MN 55155

State Senator Roger

Accomplishments of the 2011-12 Legislative Session
$1.2 billion $876 million $323 million
$876 million to reserves

Nov 2010 $6.2 billion

Feb 2011 $5 billion

Nov 2011

Feb 2012

We balanced a $6+ billion deficit without raising taxes, and turned it into a $1.2 billion surplus that refilled our reserves in less than 18 months. We cut red tape to help businesses invest in Minnesota and create jobs for Minnesotans, by streamlining the business permitting process, removing duplicate services and reforming government so it moves at the speed of 21st Century commerce. We worked to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax relief for job creators, families, and property owners (most vetoed by Governor). We made school reforms that will streamline costs and assure the best education possible for Minnesota students, while paying back borrowing against school payments (vetoed). We made major fiscal reforms such as repealing the health care provider (sick) tax, decreasing the cost of health care by billions in the next decade. We moved to secure and modernize our elections by allowing Minnesotans to decide whether to require a photo ID to vote.

Now that the session is complete, I look forward to Capitol Phone: returning to work, 651-296-1253 catching up with Email: chores at home Sen.Roger.Chamberlain and spending @Senate.MN time with my family. As summer approaches I also look forward to meeting and speaking with you about the important issues facing our state. It is an honor to have this opportunity to serve all of you. Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Select Legislation
HF 469 – improves guidelines for victims of harassment to file restraining orders. SF 1094 – allows school boards to convert to education boards, allowing schools more autonomy, flexibility, and control. SF 1190 – protects cabin owners renting their property from regulation by the Department of Human Services. SF 1668 – mandates that light rail construction must be approved by city councils. SF 2105 – authorizes payments of death benefits for retired members of the White Bear Lake fire department.

by Sen. Chamberlain in 2012

in the Minnesota Legislature

Select Legislation
TAX REFORM – After a veto of a Republican tax bill that would provide property tax relief to many Minnesota property owners and renters and make the state a much more economically competitive and attractive place for job creation, the Legislature passed a scaled-down bill that would still target tax relief to job creators who hire veterans, those who invest in research & development, “angel investors,” and historic rehabilitation. Capital purchases, data center refurbishment and those who hire interns in Greater Minnesota would have received tax breaks, and the statewide business property tax freeze would have been limited to one year. JOB CREATION – One great bipartisan accomplishment of session was to cut red tape to help businesses invest in Minnesota and create jobs for Minnesotans by streamlining the permitting process and removing duplicate services. It builds off the successful work legislators did last year to find efficiencies in environmental permitting that has already begun creating Minnesota jobs. By getting government out of the way and streamlining the permitting process where we can, businesses can grow and more Minnesotans can get back to work. TEACHER TESTING – The Legislature approved a Teacher Basic Skills Testing bill with only one dissenting vote, and it was signed as Minnesota’s first new law of the 2012 session. This will require teachers to successfully complete a basic skills examination in math, reading, and writing before receiving a license as a classroom teacher. SCHOOL INNOVATION – A new law will allow schools to share services by joining together leaders, teachers and parents to offer ideas to combine services within school districts, in exchange for the state lifting many mandates placed on local districts. Its intent is to open doors to creativity that is currently discouraged under laws and administrative rules. The new law is meant to free up teachers to work more closely with individual students, but it can help a school to expand curriculum that might not normally be available. The fiveyear pilot project allows two or more schools to put together a plan on how they would innovate.

Senator Chamberlain is vice-chair of the Local Government & Elections Committee and a member of the Senate Education, Taxes, and Commerce & Consumer Protection committees.

While we worked on a lot of important, bipartisan legislation this session, the bill that garnered the most publicity was the Vikings stadium. While I supported a stadium solution using private financing, I could not support the final bill. The funding mechanism is unproven and is extremely regressive; the state is paying Minneapolis’ share, hoping that the city will be able to repay the loan; and the Vikings’ are paying almost nothing out of their pocket -- significantly less than the $477 million that was reported. A SurveyUSA poll from February showed that 68 percent of respondents wanted the stadium to be funded with entirely private money. There were simply too many problems with the bill. It is a bad deal for the state, but it passed, and we must move on. I am hopeful next year we can come back and focus on things like tax relief for homeowners and businesses, improving our job climate, and streamlining government regulations.

Why I said no to the final stadium bill

SEN. CHAMBERLAIN ONLINE: Twitter: @rcchamberlain1 Facebook: senator.roger.chamberlain Email:

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