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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. STEVE DRAZKOWSKI - DISTRICT 21-B

Friday, June 11, 2021

Greetings, everyone. I wanted you to know about some of the news here in St. Paul.

State Revenue Increases  

Yesterday, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office announced that Minnesota had taken in more money than was projected for the month of May.

The state received revenues that totaled $3.306 billion last month. This was $1.796 billion more than was originally projected for the month of May. State revenue that is 119% higher than anticipated is major news. This means that state government is awash in excess money.

Revenues that are so much larger than expected shows that Minnesota is overfunded. I see this financial development as a clear sign that we do not need any additional taxes. As a matter of fact, I believe that we need tax cuts to help get Minnesota’s economy going again. Fortunately, we could easily afford these tax cuts because of the surplus of funds.

With a special session just around the corner, you can count on me to stand against any new taxes that Democrats try to force on Minnesotans. Government is bloated and needs to be smaller. We can make that happen with tax cuts that benefit every Minnesotan.

The State Capitol Is Open Again  

Yesterday, the Minnesota State Capitol was officially reopened to the public. The building has been closed since March of 2020.

I am glad that Minnesotans will now have the access to their government that they deserve. The fact that the people’s house was closed to the public for fifteen months is awful. One of the basic ideas behind self-government is that people can access their leaders and petition those they elect to office.

Governor Tim Walz’s policy of entirely preventing the public from having regular access to the Minnesota State Capitol was harmful to democracy. In many ways, this policy shut down dissent regarding the governor’s emergency powers and restrictions. Normally, when people are unhappy with a policy of state government, they can go meet with their leaders or peacefully protest. The governor’s polices prevented these activities from occurring.

A total lockdown of the Minnesota State Capitol building was not necessary. As an alternative, social distancing protocols and precautions could have been put in place. This would have given people a measured, responsible way to interact with their elected officials. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

Now that the Minnesota State Capitol is open again, I encourage everyone to come to St. Paul and visit.

State Government’s Past Purchases

The State of Minnesota is still trying to figure out what to do with the massive, refrigerated warehouse that was purchased when this pandemic began. State government acquired this building to store bodies if morgues and funeral homes became overwhelmed during the pandemic.  

In the end, the building was not used for this purpose whatsoever. Governor Tim Walz and his administration were ill-advised in their purchasing of this building, and many of us in the Minnesota Legislature said so. This $5.5 million purchase is just another example of government waste and poor decision-making.

As a matter of fact, the purchasing of this warehouse did nothing more than scare Minnesotans throughout our state. As we saw throughout this pandemic, Governor Walz and his models and projections were repeatedly wrong.

Steve Drazkowski

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