For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
On Monday, the 2013 legislative session finally came to an end. As Mark Twain once said “No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” After the past 5 months, I have an even better understanding behind the meaning of those words.
Despite being a freshman member serving in the minority caucus in the House, I feel I was able to get a lot accomplished. The finalized version of the tax bill included a sales tax exemption provision for cities and counties that I had authored. I was a co-author on a bill that gave long-term care provider a 5% cost-of-living increase. That provision was included in the omnibus Health and Human Services omnibus bill.
Even as a minority caucus, we were able to put enough political pressure on the Democrats to extract some victories. We successfully fought increasing the alcohol tax, defeated an $800 million bonding bill, and protected your Second Amendment rights.
Unfortunately, the Democrats had more legislative victories than losses. Most of the time spent during this legislative session was spent on how to take more hard-earned dollars out your pocket to grow the size of state government and pay back the unions. I think the most egregious example of Democrat overreach was the childcare unionization bill. This new law is a government intrusion into the living rooms of those who open their homes to take care of other people’s children during the day. Nobody from the big unions even tried to explain what the benefit was that they were trying to get out of this bill. I have a sneaking suspicion it all comes down to money. Why else would the unions and their legislative allies push so hard for this? I’m proud to have voted against it and stood with all of my Republican colleagues in opposing this disgusting attempt to force open the doors of our childcare providers to union thugs.
Another awful piece of legislation that passed the House was the tax bill. While it had a few provisions that I liked, the good absolutely did not outweigh the bad and I voted against imposing $2.1 billion in new tax increases on hard-working Minnesotans. Do not be fooled. The Democrats’ tax bill will not just affect the rich. It will hurt ALL hard-working Minnesotans. You can watch my speech on the House floor opposing the tax bill here.
While it was difficult to be in the minority for my first legislative session, I was proud of what I was able to accomplish. I focused on individual objectives like the sales tax exemption for cities and counties as well as the cost-of-living increase of long-term care providers. As a minority caucus, I believe we were effective as we could be holding the Democrats’ feet to the fire and defeating a few atrocious bills.
Now that the session is over, I plan to be back home in our community (Elk River, Big Lake, Otsego) on a regular basis. I’m more than happy to meet with constituents in the district. I need a break from St. Paul!
As always, you can still reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-4237. Mail can be sent to Rep. Nick Zerwas, 303 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
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