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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

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Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Minnesota House of Representatives is back in business, as the 2022 session began on January 31. We will have a number of items to address, but I expect three topics will dominate the headlines: public safety, bonding, and the state surplus.


You’ll recall Minnesota’s projected budget surplus stands at $7.746 billion. Debate will center on whether we should spend it or give it back to the taxpayers. Unless money is spent on one-time projects, such as road or bridge improvements, any spending the legislature authorizes will be a permanent addition to our state budget.


To me, having a surplus of this magnitude shows we must find ways to enact tax relief. Providing permanent Social Security tax relief for all of our senior citizens is one example of how we can help, but there are multiple options and all should be explored.


Public safety is also on people’s minds. Not only have we heard the radical calls to “defund the police,” but we’re also hearing about violent Metro Area crime every night on the news. We are also seeing repeat criminals who should be locked up committing more crimes, allowed back on the streets due to lenient sentencing. 


Law enforcement deserves our praise, not disrespect. It’s time we focus on solutions that prevent crime, provide stronger sentences for repeat criminals, and increase accountability. Unfortunately, House Democrats opposed these efforts last year. Hopefully that changes going forward.


Finally, we are likely to hear about a capital investment plan, otherwise known as the bonding bill. During even-numbered year sessions, the Legislature puts together a plan that borrows money to help fund construction projects that have statewide significance. Both the House and Senate will come up with their own plan and by the end of session will likely find a compromise.


If you have any comments on these or any other legislative topics, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at or 651-296-5368.