Minnesota DFL’s Delivery Fee Runs into Wall After Key Senator Reveals Opposition

A proposed 75-cent delivery fee on most retail goods sent to homes and businesses that DFLers in the House and Senate have included in their $8 billion transportation budget appears to have lost momentum.

Democrat legislators in a Senate committee on Thursday voted to remove the highly controversial provision from SF3157 that has been opposed by a number of small business associations since it was introduced last month. Those organizations opposing the delivery fee include: the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Minnesota, Minnesota Retailers Association, Minnesota Grocers Association, Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, and Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association.

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Virginia Senate Fast-Tracking Ban on ‘Carolina Squat’

squated red truck

Virginia legislators are fast-tracking Senator Mark Peake’s (R-Lynchburg) new bill to ban a type of vehicle modification called the “Carolina Squat.” Trucks with the modification have their front end dramatically higher than the back. In February, a driver in a similarly-modified truck allegedly killed a man in Mecklenberg County, according to ABC8.

“He was coming up a hill, he couldn’t see the double-yellow line,” Peake told The Virginia Star on Wednesday. “He crosses over and smashes into another vehicle head-on, destroyed it, and killed the guy.”

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Governor’s ‘Transparent Tennessee’ Does Not Apply to Fuel Tax

Three years ago when the “Transparent Tennessee” website was launched, Governor Haslam said: “A state government that is accountable to Tennessee taxpayers is an important part of being customer-focused, efficient and effective. The advanced function of this website will allow citizens more access to information about how state dollars are spent.” Last year Haslam disclosed that the 2016 budget would repay the transportation fund $261 million dollars that was transferred to the general operating fund during the Sundquist and Bredesen administrations to close budget shortfalls. “We have a covenant with our citizens that the gas tax charged by the state at the pump is dedicated to transportation-related purposes and not something totally unrelated,” State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) said several months before the 2016 legislative session began, urging that this repayment be made. This is called “dedicated funding” and according to TDOT, “[n]o money from the state’s general fund, which relies on the sales tax, is used in any of the programs of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. But it seems that not all state fuel tax monies reach TDOT before being diverted to the general fund. Issues raised after Wednesday’s Sumner County gas tax town hall call into question the transparency…

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