Hello from the State Capitol,


Our House committees have been hard at work this week, trying to hear bills before the legislative deadline. In the legislature, there are three deadlines. The first is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin. The second is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house. This year, both the first and second deadline occur on Friday at 5:00 p.m.


The third deadline is for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills. That will happen on April 19. The deadlines do not apply to the House committees on Capital Investment, Ways and Means, Taxes, or Rules and Legislative Administration, nor to the Senate committees on Capital Investment, Finance, Taxes, or Rules and Administration.


Two of the committees on which I serve – transportation and housing – have a lot going on. The transportation policy bill is shaping up to be a pretty straightforward bill that includes several noncontroversial proposals. For that, I am grateful.


Last week, I discussed the need to provide a technical fix to the Net Operating Loss (NOL) provision in the state’s tax code. Not doing so would cause small business owners to pay higher taxes this year due to drafting errors made by legislative Democrats in their taxes law they approved last session.  The good news is the NOL provision was approved on the House floor this week and I was happy to support it. The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for its approval.


Your 1st Amendment rights took another hit this week. As I discussed in a previous update, in late February House Democrats voted down a measure that would restore a religious freedom provision that was deleted from state law last year. The proposal ensures religious organizations and faith-based schools can, among other things, hire teachers and ministers consistent with their mission and values.


Senate Democrats, who are also in the majority, had the opportunity to right this wrong this week in its judiciary and public safety committee. Instead, they also voted along party lines to block the proposal, further confirming that in their minds, their political viewpoint is more important than your religious freedoms. I’ll be sure to keep you updated if something changes.


Since a recent press conference, we have heard little on legislation regarding Minnesota’s new state flag. We are hoping to get approval from leadership to have the issue put on the ballot in November, but we’ll have to wait and see.


Finally, it’s been great having various groups come in to visit lately. Whether its representatives from the Minnesota Farm Bureau, the disabled community, or soil and water conservation districts, it’s nice to see people here participating in the legislative process. That’s how it’s supposed to work – public participation. It’s good to see the Capitol and State Office Building bustling again after years of nothingness during the COVID pandemic. 


With that in mind, please let me know if you’re going to be in St. Paul and would like to stop by. You can set up an appointment by calling 651-296-5368 or by emailing rep.john.petersburg@house.mn.gov.


Have a good weekend,





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