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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cal Bahr (R)

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. CAL BAHR - DISTRICT 31-B

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

The Budget projection released yesterday is devastating news for Minnesotans - but this is exactly what we have been expecting and warning the Governor was coming. Next session, when the legislature will be tasked with making the hard decisions budget cuts, the same people whose policies brought us this mess, twill have but one solution - to quote Commissioner Franz, "Examine Revenue," which translates to: raise taxes. As Einstein said, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Why should we continue listening to the same people who make our lives more difficult?

 

Executive Order Shutdown Causes Massive Budget Deficit

The Minnesota Management and Budget agency announced yesterday that Minnesota is facing a projected $2.426 billion deficit for the current biennium. In February of this year, Minnesota had a projected surplus of $1.513. For those of you that don't want to do the math, $3.6 BILLION in lost revenue.

The pandemic didn't cause the deficit, the government response to the pandemic caused this. We need to remain vigilant in the coming months because Governor Walz created this budget problem and he is going to ask Minnesotans for a bailout. The governor will use this budget shortfall as an excuse to increase taxes. However, we cannot allow state government to double-dip into the pockets of hard-working Minnesotans. The new budget projection demonstrates that Minnesota needs to limit government, cut budgets, and not take more money from Minnesotans who are already struggling due to Governor Walz’s decision to shut down our economy.

Minnesota currently has $2.359 billion in a rainy-day savings fund which can be used in case of emergencies. Additionally, the federal government is expected to send financial help to state governments in their next round of federal COVID-19 related legislation.

Governor Walz unwisely took a sledgehammer to Minnesota’s economy, and we are all suffering for that decision. In addition to destroying livelihoods across the state, the governor has sent us from a surplus to a deficit.

The crafting of the next biennial budget will be enormously impacted by the projected deficit. Minnesota is required by the state constitution to balance its budget every year. As such, spending cuts or tax increases will have to be utilized to address the budget shortfall.

 

Governor "lets" Healthcare Facilities Provide Healthcare

Also yesterday, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-51 that allows "elective procedures" to come back online.

This Executive Order is designed to allow hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and clinics (collectively, “facilities” or “healthcare facilities”)—whether veterinary, medical, or dental—to resume the provision of many currently-delayed procedures once facilities have adequately planned to prioritize the ongoing COVID-19 response; develop criteria for determining which procedures should proceed during the COVID-19 pandemic; and provide a safe environment for facility staff, patients, and visitors.

Given that I authored a letter to the Governor nearly a month ago pointing out the difficulty that he was forcing on patients and doctors in this state, I am grateful that the Governor has relaxed the prohibition and that doctors can practice without government rationing care. This is a step in the right direction. You can see that letter here: Letter to Governor Walz - Elective Surgery. 

However, when Commissioner Malcolm mentioned that they were "giving healthcare providers more freedom," I have to point out that Government does not give freedom, it only implements tyranny.

My prayers go out to all those patients who are now going to go back to their providers to have their medical needs assessed to try to get back on track to health.

 

Coming Up

The House has a long list of bills we will be addressing yet this week. Friday might be a marathon. I urge everyone to pay attention to everything that is brought up on the House floor. Also, keep up the pressure on Governor Walz - pay attention to everything he says. He continues to reference “shared sacrifice” but the people have sacrificed enough already. It is long past time for the Government sacrifice. I also wish the Governor would stop using the phrase “happiness or the people of Minnesota” when referring to his responsibility as a governor. None of the actions taken are contributing to our happiness.

Choose Freedom,

 

CalSig

Cal Bahr
State Representative, 31B

 

Contact:

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Barbara, at barbara.smith@house.mn.

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