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Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

MSBA sets 2019 lobbying priorities

The MSBA Council has selected a robust list of lobbying priorities for the 2019 Minnesota legislative session. The MSBA will prioritize securing adequate funding for the courts, public defenders, and civil legal services.

In an effort to remedy the continuing shortage of attorneys in some areas of greater Minnesota, the MSBA will seek state funding for student loan repayment assistance for lawyers who commit to private practice serving residents of rural areas. It will also address barriers to justice for low-income tenants by seeking new legislation guaranteeing a civil right to appointed counsel in public housing eviction actions alleging breach of lease.

Responding to a case decided in 2015, the MSBA will support legislation to clarify that original jurisdiction over all public procurement protests rests with the district courts.

Finally, the MSBA will support three changes regarding taxation: (1) revisions to Minn. Stat. §271.01 to simplify service requirements for property tax petitions; (2) an amendment to Minn. Stat. §273.124 to provide that agricultural land owned by trusts created by spouses for estate planning purposes will receive the same property tax classification that would apply if the spouses owned the land directly; and (3) revisions to Minn. Stat. §291.03 to treat small business and family farm property that is owned between spouses as “qualified small business property” or “qualified farm property,” respectively, and therefore exempt up to a certain value from the Minnesota estate tax.

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