Greetings, everyone. I wanted you to know about some of the news here in St. Paul.
The State Budget
Last month, we learned that Minnesota is projected to have a budget surplus of $1.6 billion for the next two-year budget cycle. This means that state government is taking in much more money than necessary.
Even before this budget surplus was announced, I have believed for a long time that Minnesotans are overtaxed. We have many ill-advised taxes on the books including a tax on Social Security, taxes on PPP loans, and taxes on people when they go and visit their doctor. These taxes are outrageous and must be eliminated. Our surplus provides a clear opportunity to get rid of these taxes. We must take advantage of this opportunity and provide tax relief for Minnesotans.
Unfortunately, the Governor wants to take even more money from Minnesotans despite our $1.6 billion surplus. Governor Walz is still insisting on raising taxes on Minnesotans because he wants to grow government even further. The Governor is proposing a record $52.4 billion budget for the next biennium. In his proposed budget, Governor Walz calls for raising income taxes, raising the corporate franchise tax, and raising taxes on capital gains.
State government is growing rich at the expense of working people. Raising taxes on working people and businesses is harmful, unnecessary, and another example of bad leadership from this Governor. We should be lifting the tax burden rather than adding to it during these tough economic times. You can count on me to vote against any tax increase. I will be working to cut taxes and let people keep more of their money.
Ensuring the integrity of our elections is a top priority of mine. During my time as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, I have worked to make sure that our elections are conducted in lawful and fair manner.
Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the authority to determine how elections are conducted in their respective states. The rules and laws that govern our elections are supposed to be crafted by the elected members of state legislatures. Unfortunately, this was ignored during the 2020 election in Minnesota.
Several months before the 2020 election, a Democrat group called Democracy Docket brought multiple lawsuits against Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon to have election rules changed. Judges in these lawsuits disregarded the duly passed laws of Minnesota and issued consent decrees which changed the rules that control our elections. Rules governing witness signatures for ballots, ballot harvesting, and voter assistance were dramatically changed because of these consent decrees.
This was done with absolutely no involvement of the Minnesota Legislature. To circumvent the legislature and change election rules is clearly unconstitutional.
Democrats worked hard to make sure these rules were changed. Additionally, the League of Women Voters (LWV) has attempted to cancel people who discuss this topic and raise important questions. The LWV has written against my efforts to highlight this issue and educate Minnesotans on how our elections are conducted. Also, the LWV filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Secretary of State. The LWV claims to be a nonpartisan organization, but they are simply taking orders from the Democrats in shutting down free speech.
Despite their efforts, I will continue to fight for free and fair elections. In the Minnesota Legislature, I am the chief author of bills that would introduce photo ID and provisional balloting.
For more information about election integrity in Minnesota, please see the video below.
Last week I introduced HF 1933. This bill would waive all licensure fees for bars and restaurants through June 30, 2023. HF 1933 would also prevent the Department of Health from charging any fines or penalties related to a restaurant’s license through June 30, 2023. Finally, the bill would refund any fines or penalties paid by these businesses that occurred after February 29, 2020.
Bars and restaurants have been hit so hard by Governor Tim Walz’s economic shutdowns. So many of these businesses have gone under or been forced to take on crushing loans just to survive. I believe the state government needs to do everything possible to help these businesses. I introduced this bill because I believe we need to stand up and support our local bars and restaurants.