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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Friday, December 7, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, state economists revealed that Minnesota is projected to have a budget surplus of $1.54 billion for the coming biennium. Officials said that the robust surplus is due to increased revenue and state spending that was lower than previously predicted. In addition to the projected surplus, the state’s budget reserve, or “rainy day fund”, has exceeded $2 billion for the first time in state history.

Since the end of the 2018 legislative session, the overall budgetary balance has increased $432 million – from $288 million to $720 million. Estimated revenues have increased by $609 million and estimated expenditures have decreased by $306 million.

All in all, the state is in outstanding financial shape.

It is remarkable that state revenue continues to exceed expectations following the tax relief legislation that was enacted the last four years. This is further proof that the Republican legislature’s approach of lower taxes and reduced spending has given the state’s economy the shot of adrenaline it’s so badly needed. When government gets out of the way, our economy is capable of truly great things.

I hope that yesterday’s news ends any discussion of raising taxes from Governor-elect Walz and the incoming DFL House majority. With such a large surplus, we should be looking for ways to pass additional tax relief, not increase taxes.

Unfortunatley, Governor-elect Walz and House DFLers have already been talking about increasing the gas tax and extending the health care provider tax. The provider tax is a tax on health care services like chemotherapy, child birth, general hospital visits, or your yearly checkup. The tax is incredibly regressive. With such a large surplus we shouldn't need to raise taxes to pay for government programs. Republicans didn't need to raise taxes while we were in charge, and neither should Democrats.

One things is certain, I will continue to fight to protect your pocketbook in St. Paul and ensure that our state’s economy remains strong and unencumbered by bureaucracy.

I hope you have a great weekend, and as always, I am available to answer any legislative questions you may have. Feel free to contact me at rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-4229.

Sincerely,

Glenn

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