Governor Dayton's budget proposal took center stage this week at the Capitol.

While we do know the proposal includes increased spending, new sales and income taxes and property tax rebates for all homeowners, we are still working through all of the details.

I hope to have to you a complete update on Governor Dayton's budget by next week.

It is starting to pick up here at the Capitol with committee hearings, Senate session and many office visits from residents of the district.

Below, I have highlighted some of the important issues being discussed in various committees.

As a resident of Senate District 28, you are key to helping me understand the issues that affect you.

I welcome and encourage you to get in touch with me and share your input, comments and concerns. Below is my new contact information:

Sen. Jeremy Miller

135 State Office Building

Saint Paul, MN 55155


Estate tax reform needed

The Tax Reform Division heard two bills on the complex topic of estate taxes.

Contrary to the notion that estate taxes only impact the wealthy, small business owners and family farms have in the past often been caught up by the estate tax.

While the 2011 legislature delivered some partial estate tax relief, the problem continues as the current Minnesota exemption is less than the current federal exemption.

A taxpayer friendly bill has been authored (SF 40) that would bring Minnesota's estate tax in line with the federal exemption of $5 million.

Data privacy concerns seen

Many of you have probably seen that there have been a great number of stories in the news about breaches of data privacy by government entities - whether it is law enforcement inappropriately looking up driver's license records, the DNR improperly accessing private citizens' records, or the public availability of people's email addresses or cell phone numbers if they sign up for a ser-vice such as snow emergency or school closing notifications.

Numerous bills are being introduced to make sure that people's private information is not abused, and we can expect that the Judiciary Committee will be ad-dressing many of these concerns this session.