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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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Monday, January 31, 2022

ST. PAUL – On January 31, the Minnesota House of Representatives gathered to begin the 2022 legislative session. State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) expects there will be plenty of topics up for discussion in the coming weeks.


“The state budget is set during the first year of the biennium, meaning the second year of the biennium is usually shorter in length,” Torkelson said. “That said, lawmakers will have plenty of decisions to make in the months ahead.”   


Torkelson noted that even though it’s not a budget year, lawmakers will have to come to some conclusions on what to do with a projected $7.746 billion budget surplus. 


“There is no better time to look at tax relief than when you have a nearly $8 billion surplus in hand,” Torkelson said. “Let’s figure out ways to allow more Minnesotans to permanently keep more of what they earn.” 


Torkelson said the time is right to give raises to those who care for the most vulnerable in our society, such as caregivers in group homes, nursing homes, assisted living, and home care. 

Torkelson also noted that this is a bonding year in the legislature, which means the House and Senate will try to come together and agree to a capital investment plan that will help fund construction projects across Minnesota. With the record surplus in hand, Torkelson said a significant amount of cash should be utilized to pay for certain projects.


“We should not borrow a lot of money for a bonding bill when the state already has a lot of money available for allocation,” Torkelson said.


Torkelson said that public safety improvements will also be a topic of discussion, as the House majority did little to address the issue last session despite dramatically increasing crime rates in the Metro Area.  


While these two areas will likely receive most of the headlines this session, Rep. Torkelson encourages residents to contact him on any legislative item. He can be reached at or by phone at 651-296-9303.