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

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Friday, May 14, 2021

Greetings, everyone. I wanted you to know about some of the news here in St. Paul.

Tax and Spend Democrats

The Democrats are totally obsessed with taxing and spending the hard-earned money of Minnesota taxpayers. In Minnesota, we have a budget surplus of $1.6 billion. We are taking in far more money than we need. Furthermore, the federal government has also sent $2.8 billion more in assistance to our state.

Despite this massive supply of cash, the Democrats are still insisting that this year’s biennial budget deal include more taxes on individuals and businesses. This makes absolutely no sense. We should be passing tax cuts instead. If we cut taxes, those funds would go back into the economy and create more economic activity. Nationally, we have seen far fewer jobs created last month than was expected. This trend needs to change. We can start that here in Minnesota by passing tax cuts.

However, the Democrats refuse to see reason. They will not reconsider their tax and spend agenda and it has destroyed the negotiations for Minnesota’s biennial budget. On May 17th, the 2021 regular session of the Minnesota Legislature will end. We still do not have a budget. A budget is necessary for state government to continue operating and must be passed no later than June 30. Instead of working out a bipartisan budget plan, Democrats just want to talk about recreational marijuana.

Recreational Marijuana

By a vote of 72-61, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a massive bill that would legalize recreational marijuana. I voted against this bill. Too many families have seen marijuana start their loved ones on destructive paths. We should not be encouraging the use of this substance.

Many people want you to believe that marijuana is a harmless drug. These people are spreading misinformation. Marijuana is seriously harmful to the brain. Regular users can develop memory loss and mental illness. Even a person’s ability to learn is damaged by marijuana. The young people of Minnesota should not be given a legal gateway to acquire this drug. So many promising individuals have been thrown off course when substances like marijuana are introduced to their lives. 

Fortunately, the Minnesota Senate is not going to take any action on this bill. This means that recreational marijuana will not become legal this session. We knew the Senate would take no action on this bill before we even discussed it on the floor of the Minnesota House. Yet the Democrat leadership in the House insisted we debate this bill for hours even when there was more important work to do.

The Mask Mandate

Governor Tim Walz has ended his mask mandate. The Walz Administration announced this measure after the CDC released new guidelines regarding face masks. Despite the ending of the statewide mask mandate, businesses and local governments can still set their own policies on whether face masks are required.

For over a year, we have been subjected to the unilateral, unconstitutional mandates of this governor. The mask mandate has existed for about ten months, and Governor Walz routinely enforced this mandate without thoughtful discretion. When people began getting vaccinations months ago, the governor still required them to wear masks. Governor Walz even required young students to wear masks when they played sports.

While I am glad that Minnesotans will no longer be subjected to the statewide mask mandate, I am still appalled by this governor’s lack of respect for our constitution and the people of Minnesota.

Steve Drazkowski

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