I wanted to send along an update on the Governor's budget proposal, as well as some of the bills being moved through the House as we near the first committee deadline.
Governor Walz's Budget Proposal
Governor Tim Walz released his budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium, highlighted by more than $3 billion in tax increases over the next two years. His proposal would raise Minnesota's gas tax by twenty cents—a massive 70 percent increase—vaulting Minnesota's gas tax to 4th highest in the nation. It also includes increases to tab fees, the motor vehicle sales tax, the Metro Area sales tax, business taxes, and reinstatement of the sick tax, adding $1 billion to the cost of health care for Minnesotans over the next two years.
At a time when Minnesota has a billion dollar surplus, we should be looking at ways to enact tax reform not proposing a 70 percent gas tax hike that will move Minnesota to the 4th highest gas tax rate in the country. We have put forth ideas, including eliminating the tax on social security and lowering income taxes for all Minnesotans, that will make Minnesota an even better place to live, work, raise a family, and retire in. Governor Walz's proposal take Minnesota in the opposite direction. When it comes to Governor Walz's One 'Expensive' Minnesota budget, the price is wrong.
The state also received an updated economic forecast last week and it shows a budget surplus of around $1 billion. Revenue collections have been down since the November forecast showed a $1.5 billion surplus, leaving many to wonder what is going on.
The answer is quite simple: we are feeling the effects of Democrats making Minnesota a high tax state. Between Governor Dayton's tax increases on our highest earners and federal tax changes, people are finally deciding they've had enough. Republicans know we will not grow the state's economy by increasing taxes and growing permanent spending—We need to create a better environment to do business and encourage success, not tax it until it forces people to leave.
Defending the Second Amendment
Last week, the House Committee on Public Safety heard two gun bills HF8, the 'Universal Background Check' bill, and HF9, the 'Red Flag Law' bill. These bills infringe on law-abiding citizens Second Amendment rights and will not stop criminals intent on committing crimes from doing just that. I joined my colleagues in a press conference before these bills were heard in committee to set the record straight. You can see that video here.
House Republicans asked tough questions of the bill authors and voted against both bills. Unfortunately, with Democrats in charge of the committee, the bill passed and continues this week in the Judiciary Division.
Enbridge Delays Line 3
The continued opposition and stall tactics by the Dayton and now Walz Administrations caused Enbridge to delay construction of the Line 3 Replacement Project for another year. That means another year without the good paying union jobs this project will bring to Northern Minnesota, and another year of trains hauling oil more dangerously, less efficiently, and in a less environmentally safe way.
House Republicans have pushed to make this project a reality for years and will continue to push the Walz Administration to get out of the way so this necessary project can proceed.
Photos with Constituents
Rep. Daudt with constituents from Oak Grove, Mike and Kathy Coughlin, during Humane Society Day on the hill
Rep. Daudt with a constituent from Zimmerman, Matt Brenteson, during the MN Chamber Business Day on the hill
Staying in Touch
Please contact me if you or your family need assistance, or to share your views and feedback. I’d love to hear from you, so please stay in touch. You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-5364.
Have a great week!