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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)

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GATHERING YOUR PERSPECTIVE ABOUT LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Earlier in the session I distributed a legislative survey, which asked for your input on certain topics that were likely to be debated at the Capitol. I’m happy to report that eight hundred people responded, and I thought you might be interested in what they had to say. In regards to transportation funding (the survey was sent before the $6.6 billion transportation tax bill was passed), 43% of respondents think transportation already has enough money thanks to last session’s Motor Vehicle Sales Tax dedication and that we should find ways to more wisely spend this funding. 33% thought the legislature should reprioritize it’s $34.5 billion budget and allocate more money to meet transportation’s growing needs; 16% said we should increase the gas tax by five cents in order to raise additional transportation revenue; and 4% thought we should borrow money at low interest rates for transportation needs, and pay back the debt over time in order to raise additional transportation revenue. 4% also said we should raise taxes and fees in order to increase funds for transportation. When asked to select the best way for the state to provide property tax relief, 68% chose state payments directly to property owners who have seen significant property tax increases, while 32% believe increasing state payments to local governments is the way to go. 91% said the state should not raise taxes to generate more money for that state’s budget, and 96% agree that English should be recognized as the official state language. 85% of those responding would not like to see taxpayer dollars used to subsidize abortions, and 97% say illegal aliens should not receive in-state tuition, welfare or other state government benefits. In addition, 90% believe rural Minnesota schools should receive the same amount of funding as the Minneapolis School District and 92% say Minneapolis and St. Paul officers be permitted to ask about the immigration status of people they question about other crimes. As a state representative, I want to hear from citizens as I appreciate their comments and value their input. My thanks to all who took the time to complete and return this survey. WORKING ON IMMIGRATION ISSUES As you can see from the results of the illegal alien questions above, residents in our district strongly believe that action needs to be taken on illegal immigration issues. That’s why I’m pleased to have been named co-chair of a joint House/Senate caucus on immigration. Our group will be looking for answers in terms of the number of illegal aliens there are in this state and how we can improve our laws when it comes immigration. I will keep you posted on further developments.