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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Friday, May 21, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

The 2021 legislative session ended Monday afternoon—bringing a conclusion to the least productive session in over 40 years as zero budget bills were sent to the governor’s desk. Now we are expected to be called back for a special session sometime in mid-June to finish the job that the Senate and House majorities could not get done on time.

Once again, budget negotiations devolved into closed-door discussions between Governor Walz, Speaker Hortman, and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka. What emerged early Monday morning was a budget “agreement” that can best be described as not ideal.

The negotiated deal includes no end to the emergency powers, gives the governor control over federal COVID funding, does nothing to stop the California Cars mandate, and allows Governor Walz to have full veto power over any policy in final budget deals.

I am shocked that Senator Gazelka agreed to a deal that did not negotiate an end to the emergency powers and essentially gives Governor Walz veto power over policy in budget bills.

This is unacceptable.

The voice of the people and policymaking branch of our constitutional government, the legislature, has been on the backbench for more than a year and a half with no apparent end in sight.

Sure, some will say that we were able to balance the budget without raising taxes, but nobody seriously thought tax increases would end up happening with a $4 billion budget surplus. On the taxes front, we weren’t even given the opportunity to pass PPP/UI relief on the final day of the session despite taxes being due for Minnesota workers and businesses.

Overall, I am extremely disappointed with the negotiated budget deal. Minnesotans deserve better than this and they deserve to have their voice heard by ending the emergency powers and restoring the legislature to its rightful place as a co-equal branch of government.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn.

Have a good day,

Sondra

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