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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kurt Daudt (R)

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Session Recap

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Friends, 

Saturday morning capped off the 2019 budget session, which proved to be one of the least transparent in history. Entire budget bills were decided entirely behind closed doors by the "tribunal" made up of the Governor, Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader, without a single provision adopted in public prior to passage. Thankfully House Republicans secured important reforms during the special session that will improve transparency the process for the public beginning next session. 

As for the budget, the initial proposal brought forward by Democrats demanded an astonishing $12 billion in tax increases and numerous extreme policy measures. Fortunately, Republicans in House and Senate stood strong and were able to beat back Democrat-backed tax increases, cuts to nursing homes, extreme gun control measures, and energy mandates that would drive up electric bills for all Minnesotans. 

With Democrats in control of the House, we know that these extreme proposals will be back next year. You can count on House Republicans to once again speak out against these harmful proposals, and continue our push for lower health care costs and lower taxes.

I wanted to share with you some of the positive highlights from this year’s budget:

  • First income tax rate cut in 20 years: The tax bill lowered the second-tier rate from 7.05% to 6.8% beginning in 2019, allowing most Minnesotans to keep more of their hard-earned money. While House Republicans voted against the tax bill as a result of the provider tax, this historic rate reduction, along with federal conformity will mean more money in people's pockets and fewer headaches next tax season.
  • No Gun Control: Thanks to bipartisan opposition in the House and Senate, none of Democrats' extreme gun control proposals survived in the final budget agreement.
  • Extending Reinsurance: The final budget agreement extended reinsurance for two years, continuing a program that has proven to lower health care costs for families and become a national model that other states red and blue alike are following. Republicans also stopped harmful proposals like "ONEcare" that would have hurt rural hospitals thanks to their lower reimbursement rate.
  • No Nursing Home Cuts: Republicans fought Democrat-backed efforts to cut $68 million from nursing homes. These cuts would have devastated budgets for nursing facilities and harmed care for aging Minnesotans.
  • No Gas Tax: Republicans stood strong and blocked all of the Democrat-backed transportation tax increases, including the Governor's 70 percent increase to the gas tax.
  • Cracking Down on Fraud: The final HHS bill included provisions to crack down on fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). These include stricter reporting requirements, stronger oversight, and a case-tracking system at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to help track fraud cases. While there's still more work to do, these provisions are a good first-step toward restoring integrity in CCAP and our other public programs.
  • No ONEcare: Republicans defeated Governor Walz's ONEcare proposal, which would have hurt rural hospitals and was a next step toward a government takeover of health care.
  • No Elections Policy: Democrat efforts to ram through controversial elections policy—breaking with the tradition of requiring bipartisan support for election measures—were halted as part of the final budget agreement.


Slow-Poke Bill

A bill I authored in the House to penalize drivers for impeding traffic by driving slowly in the left lane was included as part of the transportation bill. Even someone driving just a few miles below the speed limit in the left lane has been shown to harm the flow of traffic. 

The roll-out of this new law will include a publicity campaign to make sure people know about the new consequences for driving slow in the left lane—this may be even more helpful than the new penalty itself! 
 

Lawsuit Attacking Pro-Life Laws

On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed seeking to overturn Minnesota's pro-life laws, many of which were passed with bipartisan support and have been on the books for years. 

This lawsuit targets bipartisan, common-sense, pro-life laws that have been on the books in Minnesota for years, and is being brought forward by extreme groups that support the horrific practice of late-term abortion. It specifically targets Minnesota laws requiring a 24-hour waiting period, notification requirements for minors seeking an abortion, and a requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated.

Attorney General Ellison must put his personal ideology aside and defend the laws of our state—we will be watching closely to make sure his office mounts a credible defense against this outrageous attack on Minnesota's pro-life laws.

Visits with Constituents

It was great to meet with students from St. Francis Elementary who came to the Capitol to get a tour and have a great chat about how our state government works. It was a great time with some wonderful kids! 

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 rep.kurt.daudt@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-5364.

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Kurt

Like and follow my Facebook Page for updates throughout the summer: Facebook.com/@KDaudtMN