The third committee deadline is today, Friday. This means that the House Democrat majority’s omnibus finance and policy bills will have cleared their respective committees by the end of the day. Votes on each of these bills by the House is expected in the weeks ahead as they continue their way through the legislative process. I will plan to update you on these bills as they come to the House Floor for votes.
In the meantime, here is a brief review of a few bills that have gone through committee this week. I will plan to include more thorough reviews of the bills when they come to the House Floor.
Here is a rundown of spending proposals by the DFL, broken down by committee
This bill is about new mandates and includes numerous policy changes that exclude parents’ involvement in decision making. In the post-COVID-19 era, the focus should be on making up for the lost instruction time, not new mandates that will make educating our students more difficult.
I am also concerned about provisions in the bill that would make it more difficult for charter schools, which offer parents an important alternative to public schooling. I am worried that there wasn’t much discussion about taking care of cost drivers, particularly regarding special education programs, and that decision-making has been left to bureaucrats instead of parents.
Please stay tuned for more details as this bill eventually comes to the House Floor for a vote from the entire legislative body.
Unlike the Senate Republican Majority’s proposal, House Democrats' bill provides little tax relief for Minnesotans saving much of the state’s nearly $10 billion budget surplus to be spent on government programs across the budget.
Additionally, the bill does not include any funding to repay the deficit in Minnesota's unemployment insurance trust fund and reverse the recent tax hikes that have gone into effect on Minnesota employers. Thanks to obstruction by House Democrats, Minnesota employers recently were hit with an average 30% unemployment insurance tax increase.
This bill does nothing to improve the safety and security of elections in Minnesota and instead focuses on spending more of your hard-earned tax dollars to grow the size of government.
Additionally, we missed a great opportunity to include policies in this bill that could have implemented voter ID, banned ballot harvesting, and several other election integrity measures that would make sure elections in our state are safe and secure.
This bill provides $100 million in supplemental funding in fiscal year 2023, with $57.46 million going to the Office of Higher Education, $32.53 million to the University of Minnesota, and $10 million to the Minnesota State system.
As a member of the Higher Education Committee, I voted “no” on this bill as it moved out of committee.
There were some policy measures in the bill that concerned me including directly appropriating state funds for the operation of tribal colleges. While I am sympathetic to their funding needs, I am not sure that the specific language in the bill satisfies the intent as many of these tribal colleges are not under the state of Minnesota’s jurisdiction.
Democrats are not putting forward any meaningful policies in their Public Safety bill to address Minnesota’s crime wave. After months of lip service saying that they would address the problem, Democrats are instead focusing their efforts on growing bureaucracy and investing in “violence-interrupters” that would take the place of armed peace officers.
Early this legislative session, House Republicans unveiled a package of bills aimed at reversing the dramatic increase in crime by holding criminals responsible for their actions, helping recruit and retain peace officers, and providing transparency to prosecutor’s charging decisions and the court’s sentencing decisions. These measures will help make our communities safer. But the House Public Safety Committee refused to hear any of these bills.
As stated, I plan on giving additional updates on these bills and more as they come before the House for votes by the entire body. Until then, I encourage you to reach out to me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have on issues related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a good day,