What a busy week at the Capitol! With the adjournment deadline about a month away, the House DFL leadership scheduled floor sessions every day this week including Saturday. Even on the weekend, your money isn’t safe!
On Monday, House Democrats released their $2.6 billion tax increase proposal. If passed, this plan would make Minnesota the second highest taxed state in the nation. In addition to new income taxes, this proposal imposes new taxes on tobacco and alcohol products as well as sports memorabilia. My 6-year-old Kahllin loves to wear Twins jerseys and Twins hats. Now we’re going to have to pay more 10% more so he can cheer on his favorite baseball team. The DFL tax plan also eliminates the charitable contribution deduction. Why would we ever want to discourage Minnesotans from donating to charities?
House Democrats have also put forward a number of wasteful spending items that they want you – the hardworking taxpayer – to foot the bill for in your taxes. Some of the wasteful spending proposals include $5 million to bail out St. Paul with loan forgiveness for the St. Paul River Centre, $360,000 to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for marketing consultants to brand state programs, $300,000 in funding for bee habitat restoration including $50,000 earmarked for signs for bee habitats, just to name a few.
Yesterday, the House passed the environment & agriculture policy and finance omnibus bill with support only from DFL legislators. This bill is just another example of the legislature wastefully spending hardworking taxpayer money on programs we don’t need. For example, the bill spends $300,000 on toilets at Crane Lake. I guess calling it wasteful spending would be redundant. All I know is that it stinks to me!
On Monday, the House is scheduled to take up the Health & Human Services finance omnibus bill. I’m very upset about the cuts to nursing homes and senior living in this bill. Our seniors living in nursing homes are a priority for me as we spend taxpayer dollars in St. Paul. This proposal instead prioritizes Minneapolis and St. Paul over Greater Minnesota – potentially forcing rural nursing homes to close their doors by cutting nursing homes and senior living by $5 million. It’s frustrating to me that Democrats are proposing $2.6 billion in tax increases on hard-working Minnesotans, but are giving little consideration for our seniors in Greater Minnesota. Countless nursing homes have said they would be better off under current law rather than the irresponsible and damaging changes proposed by the Democrats in St. Paul.
Unfortunately, I won’t be doing constituent coffees at Caribou in Alexandria tomorrow morning. The House will be in session tomorrow debating the Legacy and State Government Finance bills.
If you haven’t received one of my surveys, I encourage my constituents to fill it out online on my House webpage.
I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.