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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim O'Driscoll (R)

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Rep. O'Driscoll Legislative Update

Tuesday, May 24, 2022



May 22 marked the official end to the 2022 legislative session. In my opinion, it was a frustrating session as things just weren’t getting done.


To be clear, there were some notable accomplishments. We extended our reinsurance program, which significantly lowers health insurance premium rates for those Minnesotans who are forced to purchase it on the individual market, for five years and provided funding for it for three of those years. We authorized bonus checks to front-line workers who put their lives on the line to help the sick during the early stages of the pandemic. We also solved our unemployment insurance trust fund debt problem, which eliminated a 15% tax increase on every Minnesota employer and stopped $50,000 from being spent on federal interest costs every day while this problem lingered. 


But one of our top priorities this session was public safety. With all of the lawlessness in the news, people begin to wonder if this type of activity could eventually happen in their neighborhood. Despite this, a compromise plan that would keep our communities safe and give law enforcement the resources it needs to succeed just never came forward.


Inflation was also on the minds of Minnesotans, and with a $9 billion surplus lawmakers could have addressed this topic by giving residents significant and permanent tax relief. While a compromise was agreed upon, it was never brought forward for a vote before session ended.


The tax plan itself was not without warts. 


The direct tax relief to taxpayers in the proposal was an insignificant amount of money, which was unacceptable. There was additional spending for cities and counties, but there was no promise that this would lead to tax relief for homeowners. A substantial amount of relief was for residents who pay no property taxes at all.


Worth noting: legislation that I authored that would eliminate the state taxation of Social Security benefits for all senior citizens was included in the tax plan. The question some lawmakers began to ask themselves near the end of session was if this tax savings was worth the $4 to $5 billion the House majority wanted in new and permanent spending? 


It’s also worth remembering that we didn’t need to spend a nickel this year. Last session, the legislature approved a state budget totaling $52 billion that covers us until June 23, so Minnesota is in no danger of a shutdown. The nearly $5 billion in spending being discussed this session would have been in addition to the $52 billion we’re currently spending – or more than 15% more than we spent during the last biennium - and it would have been permanent and ongoing. 


Ultimately, it appears we will hold off on these issues until next year and see what happens to our economy. That doesn’t mean items such as Social Security tax relief won’t happen, but that they’ve just been postponed. 


Your priorities of tackling inflation, keeping more of what you earn, and keeping our communities safe are also my priorities. While the House majority failed to address these topics this year, if there’s a change in House leadership next year and a massive surplus remains, I’m confident these issues will be debated and approved.



As always, I'm continuing to support constituent needs. Feel free to contact me anytime at or by phone at 651-296-7808.


Be well,