On Thursday, the House passed a large omnibus spending bill that will cost taxpayers more than $1 billion over the next few years. This is in addition to $2.1 billion in tax increases that was imposed on Minnesota families, $4 billion more in new government spending over the previous two-year state budget, and the authorization to build a $90 million office building for state senators all brought to us by the 2013 Legislative Session.
While the legislation had a few items that were worthy of support, I could not support the final version of the bill. Notably, the legislation contained a bailout for Obamacare by taking $442 million from the General Fund in 2016-17 to refill the Health Care Access Fund, a fund created to increase access to health care for the uninsured, because of a hole created by increased costs brought on by Obamacare.
Along with my Republican colleagues, I supported amendments to this bill to reduce overall spending by $72 million for 2014-15 while funding important priorities. I voted for proposals to fully funding the 5% rate increase for disability care workers as well as to increase penalties for sex offenders. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority did not accept these Republican amendments.
Ultimately, I would have preferred we focused our time and effort on funding a few key priorities and then give back the surplus money to the taxpayers of Minnesota who earned the money in the first place.
With the legislature now in session, 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.