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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Linda Runbeck (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Linda Runbeck

Friday, March 22, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

It’s that time of year again as we are looking to put the state’s two-year budget together. As we dig into his proposal more and more, the true impact of the Governor Walz budget is beginning to sink in.

Over the next 4 years, we’d be looking at billions in additional taxes on the people of Minnesota. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the 20-cent gas tax as well as the additional cost for your license tabs. His license tab proposal would cost an average-priced new car an extra $1,063 over 10 years. Plus, you can expect higher sales tax thanks to his 1/8-cent sales tax which goes to operating the transit system. You’ll also pay more sales tax on your new automobile.

Simply put, the picture looks a little bleak. We’re already #3 in total taxes taken from our citizens and near the bottom in favorable conditions for businesses (jobs) to thrive. Plus, we’re experiencing demographic realities of fewer working-age people as more folks are retiring. Minnesota is broke!

The point is – the state’s very costly programs will have fewer people and fewer taxable wages to pay for everything. Something’s gotta give! We need reform in our state government.

Childcare Fraud -- Last week, the State Auditor (OLA) released its long awaited report looking into allegations that $100 million worth of fraud existed in Minnesota’s Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP).

While the report could not substantiate claims that $100 million worth of fraud existed, the report revealed that there is widespread agreement among folks within DHS that there is a substantial amount of fraud in the CCAP program.

Watch for Republicans to announce a package of bills next week that rein in the fraud. Attempts dating back to 2010 have proven to be inadequate. It’s time to get tough!! Minnesota taxpayers deserve better and the folks that rely on these programs for help deserve better.

Committee Work Dominates Work in St. Paul

This session, I’m serving on the Transportation Committee, the Higher Education Finance and Policy Division, and the Property and Local Tax Division as well as a Legislative Reform Subcommittee. I will be doing all I can to stop excessive spending and look to more effective solutions and private sector providers to help contain the cost of government.

Campus Free Speech

In recent years, freedom of speech has come under attack on many of America’s campuses. This has resulted in “safe spaces” and “free speech zones” confining college free speech to small areas of campus.

Colleges and universities exist to educate students by acting as a “marketplace of ideas” where ideas compete with each other. If faculty and students are afraid to express views that may not be “politically correct” then this free exchange of ideas does not exist.

In hopes of rectifying this alarming trend, I have authored legislation this session that would require MNSCU schools and the University of Minnesota to create free speech expression policies in order to promote free speech on campus. Further, my legislation would require colleges to submit a free expression on campus report.

The First Amendment is worth fighting for, especially on our college campuses. As long as I’m your representative, I will continue to advocate for free expression.

Staying in Touch

I will have more information for you about what’s going on at the Capitol as the session progresses including updates on the bills I am personally working on this year. Until then, have a great weekend!

Please know you're always welcome to stop in and see what's happening at the Legislature. My phone number is 651-296-2907 or you can reach me via email at rep.linda.runbeck@house.mn.

Have a great weekend!

Linda

 

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