There are less than ten weeks to go until the end of the 2022 legislative session and several items need to be accomplished before lawmakers head home for the year. Perhaps non is bigger than providing a fix to the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund deficit.
This fund has been depleted over the last two years because of historic numbers of Minnesotans applying for benefits due to Governor Walz’s one-size-fits-all forced business closures.
Now, because the deadline to approve legislation fixing this problem has come and gone due to House Democrat inaction, employers across Minnesota will be seeing significant tax increases.
All of us are feeling the squeeze on our budgets as inflation has soared to levels not seen in 40 years, energy prices are high, and gas prices continue to rise. Now with this avoidable tax hike going into effect, we may see the costs of goods and services rise even more.
With more than $10 billion in budget surplus and federal aid, we have more than enough resources to get this done. Governor Walz, Senate Democrats and Republicans, and House Republicans all support the bill to fix this. It’s time for House Democrats to get on board as well.
House Democrats held a hearing this week on a bill that would increase already skyrocketing prices at the pump. The bill would impose California fuel regulations on Minnesotans, and research indicates that this bill would increase the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon in the near term and up to 54 cents per gallon by 2035.
This bill is a bad deal for Minnesotans and should be rejected. Instead of inventing new ways to make gas more expensive, we should be pushing the federal government to pursue a national policy of energy independence. No longer should we be relying on adversarial nations for our energy.
Cases of the highly pathogenetic avian flu (HPAI) – which impacts turkeys and chickens – have been detected in Minnesota. Back in 2015, 9 million birds were killed or euthanized due to a similar avian flu strain. In response, biosecurity measures were put in place to help slow the spread of avian flu if another outbreak occurred in Minnesota.
Despite this, poultry products remain safe and healthy to eat and I encourage folks to support Minnesota farmers and producers by purchasing Minnesota-grown poultry during this uncertain time.
Turkey and chicken farmers should visit Minnesota’s Board of Animal Health websites to learn more about HPAI and what they can do to combat it. Tips for backyard poultry owners can be found at www.bah.state.mn.us/media/HPAI-Notice-Backyard-Final.pdf. Comprehensive poultry biosecurity steps can be read at www.bah.state.mn.us/poultry/#biosecurity.
Other topics I am working on include legislation that would ban vaccine mandates from being imposed by the Department of Human Services, and legislation that ensures participants in school-sponsored sports from youth to college compete based on their biological sex. This has become a hot topic in recent weeks as high-profile cases of individuals that are biologically male have been competing in women’s college athletics with great success.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. It would be great to chat with you. I can be reached at 651-296-4333 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great day,