Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet up with a group of elementary students from Legacy Christian Academy during their visit to the Capitol. I’m glad they had the opportunity to see the Capitol up close and I enjoyed hearing the very engaging questions they asked!
For those of you who will be out fishing for the opener tomorrow – best of luck!
Also, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in our community! This is a great occasion to celebrate the immeasurable impact our loving mothers have on our lives. Be sure to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to a mom in your life!
As of today, here’s an update on where things stand at the Capitol.
In recent weeks, the House has passed all of its budget bills to fund various areas of state government. I continue to hold numerous concerns with the spending, taxing, and controversial policy provisions in these bills. Despite a $1 billion budget surplus, Democrats’ bills would take more money from Minnesota families through excessive taxes totaling $12 billion.
This massive tax hike is highlighted by a 20-cent per gallon gas tax increase, which would make living and driving in Minnesota more expensive. Another incredibly harmful tax found in Democrats’ budget is the sick tax, which is a tax on nearly all healthcare services. The sick tax would make every trip to the doctor more expensive and would most affect the sickest Minnesotans who already have the highest medical bills.
In addition, the Star Tribune recently reported that Governor Walz’s Department of Revenue confirmed his tax plan would hit low and middle-income Minnesotans the hardest. The report indicated that, under the governor’s plan, Minnesotans making under $45,000 would see double-digit percent increases in their tax burdens.
As I’ve said before, when the state has a $1 billion budget surplus, $12 billion in new taxes is completely unnecessary and should be out of the question.
Conference Committee/Budget Negotiations
May 20 is the adjournment date for the 2019 legislative session, meaning a little over a week remains for us to get our work done. This week, work in conference committee for the various budget areas got underway. Conference committee is where lawmakers from the House and Senate work out differences in their respective budget bills. Once members of each body and party agree on the legislation, the bills are again voted on and sent to the governor for his signature or veto.
However, conference committees have been unable to do much work so far because the governor, House DFL majority, and Senate Republican majority haven’t agreed on spending targets for the budget. Once they’ve agreed on total spending numbers, conference committees will have a clearer picture of how much money can be spent in each area, and will then be able to better work towards an agreement.
So far, I’ve been extremely disappointed by the governor and House Democrats’ refusal to compromise during budget negotiations. Democrats haven’t been willing to compromise a single penny of their $12 billion tax increases. While they have proposed spending reductions by $200 million in their budget plan, in a nearly $50 billion proposed budget, that isn’t much of a compromise. In fact, it works out to less than half a percent decrease. In the days ahead, Democrats need to work to find real compromise in order to produce a responsible budget plan that doesn’t engulf Minnesotans with tax increases.
Best High School Choir
Congrats to the Andover High School choir on being named Best High School Choir in Minnesota by WCCO! This award is a testament to the countless hours of hard work our students have put in. It’s great to see our young people being recognized for their efforts and talents. Click here for the story.
Free Dental Care for Veterans
I wanted to make veterans in our community aware of Aspen Dental’s Day of Service on June 8, 2019, in which Aspen Dental is offering free dental care to veterans at their practices, including the Coon Rapids location. You can find more information and a full list of locations in Minnesota by clicking here or calling 1-844-277-3646.
Please Contact Me
As always, I encourage you to please contact me with any questions or input by phone at 651-296-4231 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,