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February 14, 2013     Tri-County News
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February 14, 2013
 

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['age 16 Le/00als .4 Government 00.urs00ay,00eU00ar,,4,000,00 Tri-CounW News www.tricounnews.mn Fischbach Michel,!.00o,os,a,ese.,or Week in review, Feb. 8 At the end of February, Min- nesota Management and Budget (MMB) will release an updated budget forecast for the state which will allow for a more detailed dis- cussion of new budget proposals. The governor will likely release some sort of revised budget plan and the Legislature will begin work on specific budget proposals as well. Other Happenings: On Thurs- day, the Senate passed (on a vote of 40-25) Senate File 58, ratifying five collective bargaining agree- ments and two compensation plans approved by the Legislative Coordinating Commission Sub- committee on Employee Rela- tions. These contracts included a 2-percent across-the-board sal- ary increase, step increases for eli- gible employees; and no changes in healthcare insurance premium percentages (0 percent single/15 percent family). The Senate Tax Committee delayed final action this week, but has plans to take up a proposal to address federal and state tax "conformity" issues. Aligning the state's tax laws to the federal tax code is an important issue as Mfnnesota families across the state begin filing their income tax returns. Provisions for tax year 2012 that remain unresolved include extending the educator classroom expense deduction, extending the higher education tuition deduction, and extending tax-free IRA donations to certain public charities for taxpayers age 70 1/2 and older. Timely resolution of tax conformity will help prevent the need for Minnesota taxpayers to file amended returns. A bill to expand Medical Assistance cover- age passed out of the Health and Human Services Finance Com- mittee on Wednesday. This. bill expands coverage for persons up to 138 percent of the federal pov- erty guideline. Senator Michelle Fischbach encourages and appreciates con- stituent input and can be reached by phone at (651) 296-2084, by mail to G 15 State Office Build ing / St. Paul, MN 55155, or via e-mail at sen.michelle.fischbach@ senate.ran. Governor Mark Dayton's State of the State speech was the major buzz around the Capitol this week. He again stressed his plan to raise taxes as a key part of his two-year budget proposal. The governor's budget relies on $3.6 billion in new taxes, including a broad $2.1 billion, expansion of sales tax on new goods and services. New sales taxes would be imposed on trans- actionsincluding clothing articles over $100, over the counter drugs, haircuts, auto repair services, and a wide range of new business to business services. Details continue to emerge on the impact of the Governor's sales tax expansion. For example, con- sumers would pay an estimated $77 million in new sales taxes on clothing purchases, $108 million on haircuts and other personal care services, and $199 million on auto repair services. The governor's overall budget plan calls for spending $37.9 bil- lion over the next 2 years, and lon- ger-range spending of $41.9 billion for the following two years. This four-year spending total would represent an increase of $6.7 bil- lion or nearly 20 percent from cur- rent state spending.. Women's Farm and Forestry Alliance If you are a woman involved in farming, ranching or forestry, you won't want to miss the inaugural gathering of the Women's Farm and Forestry Alliance on March 11-12 at the St .Paul Hotel in St. Paul. Here's your chance to listen and learn from dynamic female leaders, provide input on the web-based skills train- ing on financial management and leadership skills, and best of all, build new relationships. "Women often serve as the 'glue' that keeps operations intact during good times and bad," said Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, General Counsel to Raven Industries and former Member of Congress from South Dakota. "But it's not always easy to do it alone or without the types of training that can help you thrive. Here's a great chance to update your skills and meet other incredibly talented women of all ages." Travel around the Dance Feb. 19 016! Travel around the world by sampling international food and dance steps from 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at River's Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud. As a reminder of your journey, you'll leave the event with health screen- ing results, education materials, a photo booth memento, the glow from a mini-massage and pos- sibly a door prize. Dancing and other aerobic exercise help pre- vent heart disease so take action Now more than ever, women have the opportunity to step for- ward in new ways to strengthen the financial life of their operations, prepare for future business chal- lenges, and assume new leadership roles. It's vital that we communi- cate in new ways about the impor- tance of agriculture and forestry in order to reach consumers, as well as future generations. The mission of the Women's Farm and Forestry Alliance is to -build strong women leaders, strong networks, and an even stronger agriculture and forestry sector by ensuring that women have access to the highest level financial and busi- ness management training along with an embedded leadership train- ing program. To register or for more informa- tion, visit the website at www.wfJ alliance.or& or call (202) 328-5048. world at Day of for your health today! Free. No pre-registration required. For more information, visit www.centracare.com or call (320) 229-5139. Sponsored by St. Cloud Hospital Women & Chil- dren's Center and CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center. Special thanks to: Caryn's Studio, Dan Triplett of StudioJeff, Minnesota School of Business and St. Cloud School of Dance Ultimate Gym- nastics. Hedlund Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Septic & holding tank pumping Portable toilets & sewer cleaning MAKE THE  DECISION AND CHOOSE Nohm Electric, Inc. FOR AI J, YOUR EI,ECIRICAI, NEFJS,.. JUST LII(E YOLrR NEIGHBORS HAVE BE DOING FOR 30 YE! Call Michael & ]errod Nohner 320-453-2725 Friendly Hometown Service Propane Soy Diesel t Fuel Tires Kerosene e Motor Oil Gasoline Tank Truck * Transport LAND O'LAKES OIL PROPANE ProAdjuster system... comfortable and consistent treatment option. 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