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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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Legislative news

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

The Fergus Falls Port Authority has been approved for a Demolition Loan for the Old Dairy Site. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said it intends to lend the Port Authority $851,510, with terms to be negotiated prior to issuing the loan documents.

This is good news and I congratulate the local officials who were successful in obtaining this loan. I look forward to seeing progress on this project and, again, those involved in submitting this loan application should be proud of landing this loan.

One more local note: The 2019 Walk for Glendalough is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at the park. People can walk, hike or ride bicycles and help raise money for the park. Click here for complete details. I plan to attend and support this great local resource and I hope you are able to be there as well.

As for news from St. Paul, the Democrat House majority has now unveiled its bills to establish a new state budget and maybe the most striking thing is it raises taxes by more than $12 billion over the next four years. They propose raising taxes on health care, gas (20 cents more per gallon), and other everyday goods and services. They also look to raise taxes on businesses, which ultimately would result in higher prices for consumers.

Here are some price tags on the tax increases Democrats propose, totaling more than $12 billion over the next four years:

  • Tax bill (tax hikes only): $4,004,690,000
  • Transportation bill: $3,873,948,000
  • Provider tax: $2,550,277,000
  • Paid Family Leave: $2,074,755,000

These tax increases are the product of a spending plan that is way too expensive and lacks discipline with our tax dollars. On top of that, House Democrats propose a $1.77 billion capital investment package, including $1.5 billion in bonding. That bill is much, much larger than House Republicans would support, pretty much making the bonding bill as written a non-starter.

Finally, the Office of the Legislative Auditor issued another round of information last week, detailing problems that have led to widespread child care fraud in our state. An initial report from the OLA indicated an investigation confirmed rampant fraud was taking place. Last week’s report indicated that weak controls at the Department of Human Services “are insufficient to effectively prevent, detect, and investigate fraud in Minnesota's Child Care Assistance Program.”

Democrats resisted House Republican requests to conduct hearings on the first OLA report, saying they wanted to wait for the release of this second report. The news is only getting worse, so let’s hope this prompts them to finally agree to holding hearings so we can crack down on this waste, fraud and abuse of our tax dollars.

Sincerely,

Bud

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