On Monday night, the 2013 legislative session came to a close. The two most significant pieces of legislation that came before the House during the last few days were the tax bill and the childcare unionization bill.
House Democrats put forward a tax plan that would impose $2.1 billion in new taxes on hard-working Minnesotans. The details of their tax plan include a creating fourth tier income tax of 9.85% on the top bracket that will also hit small business owners, a $424 million large employer tax, a $1.60 tax increase on cigarettes, and a $137 million sales tax expanded to business services like warehousing and storage, IT services, and telecommunications. I don’t believe we need to be taking more hard-earned dollars out of the pockets of Minnesota families to make state government bigger. That’s why I voted against the finalized tax bill. Unfortunately, it passed the House and was signed into law by Governor Dayton. The new tax increases will kick in July 1, 2013.
On the last day of session when the House hadn’t finalized all of the budget bills, the Democrats decided to bring up the childcare unionization proposal. Because some low-income parents qualify for state assistance for childcare, some of the big unions have been pushing for the childcare providers who accept kids on state childcare assistance to be unionized. I disagree with the idea of unionizing in-home small business owners – the vast majority of whom did not want this bill. I don’t think we should be taking money out of childcare assistance for low income families and allow it be re-directed for union dues. That’s why I voted against this proposal. It managed to pass the House with the bare minimum number of votes necessary to pass. Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill. Because the law (once enacted) conflicts with federal law labor, it’s likely a lawsuit will be filed to halt its implementation.
While it was difficult at times to be a member of the minority caucus this session, I’m proud we were able to win a few victories including preventing any gun control bills from coming to the floor of the House and stopping the wolf hunt moratorium. It remains a possibility that those proposals could surface during the 2014 legislative session. I’ll be sure to let you know if and when that happens.
Please take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember those who have fought and served for our country. Thank you to the brave men and women of our military who have fought and continue to fight to protect our freedoms and liberties.
As always, I can be reached via email at email@example.com. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-9918. Mail can be sent to Rep. Steve Green, 231 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.
Have a great weekend!