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

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Someday when we look back at the 2013 Legislative Session, we will remember it as the session the Democratic party controlled all levels of government and abused their power through policies of government overreach.

Even if you take away the legalized gay marriage vote and the repeated attempts to restrict the 2nd amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, Democrats repeatedly overplayed their hand without care.

Take the final week of session as an example.

Keeping in mind that we had not passed a balanced budget four days prior to adjournment, the Democrats brought forward a bill to raise legislative salaries and force the state’s constitution to be changed in order to do it.

There was no reason to pass this ridiculous bill.  The legislative pay increase proposal wouldn’t take effect until 2016!  Yet the Democrats prioritized their wallets over a balanced budget, and the bill was approved without a Republican voting in favor.

Then we debated a proposal that attempts to unionize childcare providers. Most parents don’t want daycare unionization because they know they’ll end up paying more to their provider each week.  Most childcare business owners don’t want it because they want to be left alone by state government and don’t want to waste their money on union dues.  But elections have consequences, and when the unions financially support the Democrats in the way they do, they expect something in return for their contributions.  They got it in the form of this childcare unionization proposal.

Finally, the massive, unnecessary, $2 billion tax increase proposal. As promised, the Democrats raised income taxes on wealthier residents.  The problem is many of these folks are job creators that employ Minnesotans.  92 percent of these job providers pay their tax obligations through their personal income taxes, which is sure to devastate them next April.

Also included is the business to business sales tax, a provision that will harm all hardworking taxpayers.  When a business loses money through government extraction, it isn’t going to just absorb the cost and move on with life.  It will raise the price of products and services they offer customers in order to make up the difference – meaning you will pay more.

Then there’s the tobacco tax, which will cause cigarette prices to rise by $1.60 a pack.  One of my constituents contacted me and said this increase could cost his family $7,500 a year.  He’s also a small business owner and is seriously considering closing shop and moving out of state.

If this massive tax increase isn’t bad enough, then consider that much of it will go towards the funding of a Vikings stadium if e-pulltab revenue continues to disappoint, which it will.

In essence, because cigarette taxes are one of our most regressive taxes, this proposal forces our poorest Minnesotans to subsidize a New Jersey billionaire.  Instead of using that revenue for things like roads, schools, or nursing homes, it will go towards a stadium – despite the insistence from Governor Dayton that taxpayer dollars would never be used for construction.

Let’s face it: Minnesotans were misled and deceived by Democrats.  They were told they would only tax the rich and not harm the economy.  When they finished their work, their job killing, government growing, priority lacking tax increase disaster is set to destroy employment in this state and force every hardworking taxpayer in every income bracket to pay more.

All of this is the result of the legislative greed of Democrats, and they have proven this session that they are out of touch with Minnesotans.


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