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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jon Koznick (R)

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Koznick Connection: Legislative Update (May 17, 2019)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Dear Lakeville Neighbors,

It’s been a busy last month here at the Capitol in St. Paul. Earlier this month, the House approved several omnibus finance bills. These bills represent the entirety of the House Democrat majority’s proposed budget. This crazy schedule coupled with long debates on the House floor is why I haven’t updated you in a while.

As is the case with most omnibus bills, there were provisions in each and every one of these bills that I would support on its own if it was given a simple up or down vote. Unfortunately, members have to consider the entirety of the legislative package, policy and spending included, when making a determination on how they may vote on a particular omnibus bill.

I was unable to support the vast majority of these omnibus bills due to the out of control spending and excessive taxes and fees that were included. In addition to spending, several of these bills included controversial policy provisions.

Now that the finance bills have been approved by both the House and Senate, legislative leaders have been meeting behind closed doors with Governor Walz to find agreement on a state budget that will fund Minnesota government for the next two years.

While the Senate Republican majority has held firm on a “use our current revenues and surplus” approach, both Governor Walz and House Democrats have been pushing for extreme tax increases.

In fact, the House Democrat plan would raise taxes on Minnesotans by more than $12 billion over the next four years. To date, there has been little to no public indication that Governor Walz or House Democrats have made any significant movement off of their tax increases during budget negotiations.

There is no need to raise taxes. Instead, we need to rein in spending and the growth of government. 

It is especially frustrating considering the state currently has a $1 billion budget surplus and monthly tax revenue collections have been $573 million above collections thanks in large part to the state and nation’s booming economy.

 Democrats’ and Governor Walz’s $12 billion in tax increases include:

  • 70% gas tax increase
  • $1.1 billion increase in vehicle registration taxes (license tabs, etc.)
  • $985 million suburban sales tax increase (including Dakota County)
  • $2.5 billion health care tax on nearly every health procedure in the state of Minnesota including pregnancy, chemo treatments, dental visits, and more
  • $2.074 billion in a new payroll tax that will take money directly out of paychecks for each and every person that earns a wage in Minnesota
  • $4 billion in the tax bill that will make businesses less competitive and raise costs on goods and services for all Minnesotans

Here are short video links to part of the transportation floor debate, where I discuss different parts of the excessive transportation taxes that are robbing funds from the Highway User Trust Fund. Click on any of the photos below to watch.

As I write this, it’s becoming more and more likely that this year’s session will not finish on time as Governor Walz, Democrat House leaders and Senate Republican Leaders are still meeting behind closed doors.  Thank goodness for Senate Republicans and their firm stance on no new taxes!

Taste of Lakeville

Literally and figuratively, last night was a wonderful opportunity to get a “Taste of Lakeville”.  It was a beautiful night and I was happy to be able to leave St. Paul for the evening.  My wife Patty and I took in the Rotary Clubs annual fundraiser and festival to sample dishes from local restaurants. More telling was the conversations we had with people all night about these proposed tax increases on everything from diaper bags to diet coke.  I heard you clearly and will continue to fight for your family's own freedom and property, and the best for our communities.

We will have more information for you next week or in the coming days, until then, we’ll have to wait until we hear more about a compromise deal that needs to be struck between the three leaders.  I appreciate your support and the many emails, visits and calls.

Have a great weekend,

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/houseimages/2d2e88c2-ac4c-4164-925a-a5e2735594d5.jpg

Jon Koznick

Assistant Minority Leader
State Representative, Lakeville, 58A