The 2019 legislative session came to a close last Saturday with the completion of a one-day special session. The special session was needed to pass budget bills that were agreed to as part of negotiations between the Senate Majority Leader, House Speaker, and Governor Walz.
While I am pleased that the vast majority of Democrats’ extreme tax proposals did not become law, I am concerned about a lack of transparency surrounding the end-of-session budget negotiations.
In fact, I would go so far as to say this year’s session was one of the least transparent in history. Entire budget bills were decided entirely behind closed doors by a small group of people consisting of the Governor, Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader. Some bills did not have a single provision adopted in public prior to passage.
This is the wrong way to govern and I am frustrated with the way the session ended from a transparency and process perspective. We need to do better.
Despite a Democrat House and Governor, I am relatively encouraged by the final budget deal. Democrats had proposed to raise taxes by more than $12 billion over the next four years including a 70% gas tax increase. Thankfully, most of these proposed tax increases did not become law.
Here is a brief recap of some other “wins” this session:
Further, I authored a provision that was included in the Transportation Omnibus Bill that requires signs on Interstate I-35 for Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and Minnesota State Academy for the Blind.
Staying in Touch
While the 2019 legislative session is officially over, my job as your state representative does not end. Please continue to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,