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Legislative Update (5-17-19)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Neighbor,

There’s good news and not-so-good news to report from the Capitol this week.

First, the good news: It appears anti-gun bills have been squashed for this year because a conference committee voted down two highly controversial proposals this week, H.F. 8 (background checks) and H.F. 9 (red flags).

This is great news, but we can’t afford to let our guard down because bills sometimes have a way of magically coming back to life when you least expect it. Let’s hope this is the last we hear of these bills. I will let you know if there are any developments to report regarding efforts to undermine our Second Amendment rights that so many of us hold dear.

As for the less encouraging news, House Democrats and Gov. Tim Walz continue clinging to their push to raise our taxes by $12 billion at a time the state has a surplus of $1 billion and growing. Negotiations have been taking place all week, but an agreement has not yet been reached, mainly due to the Democrats’ insistence on tax increases.

An interesting side note on negotiations: About a year and a half ago, a member of the House Democrat minority went to social media to post “The dynamic of five individuals meeting with staff behind closed doors has to stop. We need a new construct for our conversations that brings the give and take and debate fully into public view.”

Fast-forward to now, and the person who posted that message – current House Speaker Rep. Melissa Hortman – has spent the last several days as part of those “individuals meeting with staff behind closed doors,” out of public view and likely working to push through the House’s omnibus bills that would raise our taxes by $12 billion.

So, while her social media rant made for good rhetoric, her words are ringing rather hollow today. It’s just another in a line of broken promises she and House Democrats have made. Another one is how they pledged to reduce health care costs but now propose extending a 2-percent tax on health care.

Democrats need to be held accountable for these actions, not just because they are broken promises but – more importantly – because they are doing a disservice to taxpayers.

It looks like a working weekend in St. Paul as budget negotiations continue. Time is running short on finding a solution before the Legislature is set to adjourn Monday, so stay tuned.

-Steve

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