The 2019 legislative session came to a close last Saturday morning following the completion of a one-day special session. The special session was needed to pass budget bills because negotiations between the Senate Majority Leader, House Speaker, and Governor Walz dragged into the final weekend of the regular session.
Despite needing “overtime” to finish our work, I am pleased to report that House and Senate Republicans successfully defeated the vast majority of Democrats’ $12 billion in proposed tax increases including, among other things, the 70% gas tax increase.
This is good news and a win for Minnesotans.
While we succeeded in preventing the vast majority of tax increases from becoming law, I am disappointed that the “sick” tax was reinstated as part of the final budget deal.
Democrats spent the entire campaign season last summer and fall making promises to Minnesotans that they would lower the costs of health care. The sick tax does the exact opposite by raising health care taxes by $2.295 billion over the next four years.
The sick tax is levied on most patient services in Minnesota, including things like baby deliveries, chemotherapy treatments, routine doctor visits, emergency room visits, and more.
Simply put, getting sick should not be a “taxable” event.
Despite that disappointment, there is certainly a lot to be proud of in this year’s budget deal. Here are a few items of note that I would consider “wins” for Minnesota.
I was also proud to secure $4 million in funding for the National Loon Center in Cross Lake. The Loon Center will work to restore and protect loon habitats and enhance environmental recreation. This is an important project that I have worked hard to make a reality for our area.
Staying in Touch
While the 2019 legislative session may be over, my job as your state representative is not. Please continue to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,