The first batch of bills from Minnesota Senate Democrats include a health insurance exchange, statewide all-day kindergarten and a minimum wage increase.
There are also bills to make it harder to put constitutional amendments on the ballot and to apply the state sales tax to some clothing. Texts of the bills were posted online today, one day before Thursday’s official start of bill introductions. DFL Senate leaders have a news conference scheduled Thursday morning to detail the bills, along with the specific bill authors.
Senate File 1 establishes the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act, which is allowed under the federal health care law as way to let consumers shop for policies.
Senate File 2 authorizes funding for voluntary full-day kindergarten.
Senate File 3 increases the minimum wage requirements for large employers to $7.50 an hour, and provides for automatic inflationary increases in the future.
Senate File 4 would require a 3/5 majority vote in both chambers of the Legislature to place constitutional amendment questions on the statewide ballot.
As expected, DFLers are also proposing several ways to increase tax revenue. There’s a bill (SF 8) to collect some of the sales taxes currently lost to Internet purchases.
Another bill (SF 9) would expand the sales tax to clothing items above $200.
Yet another bill (SF 10) would eliminate the current tax exemption for companies that operate in foreign countries.