Hello Lakeville Neighbors,
The 2019 legislative session ended Monday night. Despite the messy process of Democracy, I sincerely thank you for the privilege to represent such a fine community. We put in five months of committee and floor work, including many 10 to 15 hour days, and much of our work remains unresolved. In fact, it is believed that this year’s session was the least productive since 1985. In total, under the Democrat majority, the House sent just one of its budget bills to the Governor’s desk.
With much of the legislature’s work yet to be finalized, there are few details that I am able to share today as bills are still being negotiated.
Here’s where things stand.
Late Sunday evening, leaders from the DFL House, GOP Senate, and Governor Walz agreed to a global budget deal. As part of the deal, we were successful in defeating their transportation-related tax and fee increases. These excessive taxes and fees included a 70% gas tax increase, increases in the metro area sales tax, and significantly more expensive license tab fees.
They also agreed to drop “controversial” policy provisions from the final omnibus finance bills. This includes doing away with the paid family and medical leave mandate that would have raised taxes on Minnesotans and employers by more than $2 billion. Additionally, we preserved second amendment rights, triumphed over controversial sex education curriculum, and many others. This is all good news.
Unfortunately, the Senate agreed to reinstate the provider or "sick" tax as part of the budget agreement. The provider tax is levied on most patient services in the state and directly raises the cost of health care. I am also concerned about the still unresolved budget bills and worry that objectionable policy may end up being included.
As for myself, I have been working hard behind the scenes on the transportation bill to ensure that Lakeville is well represented at the negotiating table. With so much still up in the air, it remains to be seen what is eventually included in the final budget bills.
Leaders have said that they’d like to have a one-day special session on Thursday or Friday to pass the remaining budget bills. I am skeptical that they will be able to get all of the outstanding disagreements ironed out by then.
I will share additional information as we get more clarity on the path forward.
Have a great day and stay tuned for more news later this week,
Assistant Minority Leader
State Representative, Lakeville, 58A