On Thursday the Democrat-majority in the House passed an extravagant spending and bailout bill that will cost the taxpayers of Minnesota an additional $323 million for fiscal year 2014-2015 and $892 million for fiscal year 2016-2017. Keep in mind this is in addition to the historic tax and spending increases from the 2013 Legislative Session that imposed $2.1 billion in taxes on hardworking Minnesota families, increased all-funds spending by approximately $1,500 for every man, woman, and child in our state as well as authorized a design for a $90 million office building for state senators
What’s truly shameful about this process is the multitude of unrelated policy and spending provisions wrapped up into a single bill. Instead of letting individual proposals get up-or-down votes on the merits, the Democrats poisoned the well by lumping good policy with bad.
For instance, I’ve been a strong supporter of a policy initiative that would fund a 5% rate increase for home care providers, long-term care providers and nursing homes that take care of our disabled and vulnerable citizens. Along with my Republican colleagues, I’ve asked for this proposal to stand alone without any other language or legislation attached to it. Instead of doing that, the Democrats decided to play political games with the disability community and attached to this legislation $442 million to cover up a BAILOUT OF OBAMACARE by taking General Fund money in fiscal year 2016-2017 to refill the Healthcare Access Fund, a fund created to increase access to health care for the uninsured, because of a hole created by the increased costs of Obamacare. The way this bill was put before the House poisoned the well and is exactly why people turn away from the political process.
In order to improve this deeply-flawed legislation, I supported efforts put forward by my Republican colleagues that would have put $65 per-pupil on the basic formula for K-12 Education, fully funded the 5% rate increase for disability care workers, and increased penalties even stronger for sex offenders than what the Democrats proposed to do. Unfortunately, they didn’t take any of these amendments. Instead of scrambling to spend the surplus money taken from taxpayers on a long Democrat wish list, I would have preferred to have funded a few priorities and returned the remaining surplus to those who paid the money in – the hardworking taxpayers of Minnesota.
As always, I’m interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Peggy.Scott@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4231. You can also send me mail to my office address: 201 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.