Headlines from the Capitol this week include defending our Second Amendment rights and the governor’s State of the State Address.
There was an amazing turnout of citizens from throughout the state who appeared in St. Paul to voice their concerns over new gun restrictions proposed by House Democrats. I know this is a passionate issue and we must protect our second amendment rights but, we have many other important topics like jobs, a new budget and building our economy.
My email inbox has been flooded by people asking me to stand up against unnecessary gun restrictions. People in parts of the state like ours understand the potential impacts these proposed laws could bring now and even into the future. Much of the bills’ language is open to interpretation and even more restrictions down the road.
The proposed laws include a ban on someone’s interpretation of so-called assault weapons, background checks for all pistol and assault weapon purchases, mental health screening for firearm permits and more. Click here and here for a closer look at two new laws being proposed.
The bottom line is lawbreakers are lawbreakers. All the new regulations in the world will not change that. The new restrictions would do more harm than good by disarming good Minnesotans who obey the law.
On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton issued his State of the State Address. Dozens of business owners from throughout the state were special guests of House Republican members for the event. The business owners participated in a very productive roundtable discussion with House members prior to Dayton's speech. They shared a wide variety of thoughts and concerns regarding Minnesota's business climate.
A few of the points we heard from business owners small and large include:
· “The governor’s budget will make us downsize our business and we've already downsized because of the economy.”
· “I'm looking to neighboring states to expand.”
· “It is insulting to be demonized as the job creators.”
· “We are labeled as the rich who need to pay their fair share but all my income goes into my business.”
· “We are hurting and we aren't the big corporations.”
The governor started his speech by highlighting many of the good things which have transpired over the last two years due to Republican-initiated budget action. We have gained 72,000 jobs, improved our state budget by leaps and bounds, and paid off the entire 2011 K-12 shift.
After taking credit for those improvements, Dayton proceeded to criticize the policies which led to our turnaround. It was really a conflicted message. It seems the governor wants to take credit for our improving economy without losing ground on his campaign to increase our taxes by $3.7 billion to feed excessive government spending.
I look forward to your input on these and other topics. I will let you know how things unfold at the Capitol as budget work picks up steam following an updated economic forecast later this month.