Special session officially wrapped up on Wednesday with the legislature passing the final budget bills, avoiding a state government shutdown while also putting into law an end to the governor's emergency powers.
I have voted more than 20 times to end the peacetime emergency and am extremely pleased that we were finally able to get Democrats to join us in getting the job done.
Our attention should now turn to rewriting Chapter 12 in state law to make sure that future governors cannot abuse emergency powers ever again.
The final two bills that were approved included the State Government Finance bill and the Taxes bill.
I voted “no” on both bills.
I voted against the state government finance bill because it grows the size of government and increases spending at a time when many are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for the Taxes bill, I was disappointed to have to vote against it because there were many provisions that I supported including full exemption of PPP and UI benefits from state taxes. These were huge wins that will benefit every Minnesotan.
However, I had to vote against the bill because it contained language that would provide funding for a project to construct a land bridge over Interstate 94 that reconnects the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul. This land bridge has been estimated to cost more than $500 million for a 6-block land bridge lid to be placed over I-94.
Beyond the costs of the bridge, there will also be the cost to construct buildings and parks which will also need state dollars.
This is a boondoggle of the highest order and reason enough to vote against the bill, despite the positives also contained within.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great day,