Today we will complete the last of the House proposals for the state agency funding bills. To date the House versions have called for major taxes increases, unneeded new programs, radical new policies, and/or spend state dollars where federal dollars could be used.
The bills do not properly focus on effectively aiding our workers and employers in recovering from the COVID-19 shutdown. We have about a $4 billion state budget surplus when the federal aid dollars are included. The Senate proposals include no tax increases and a more refined approach to getting our economy back on track.
We have the funds to fix the unwarranted state income tax on the federal unemployment dollars and the federal paycheck protection grants. I will continue to work on moving my friends across the aisle toward a product that a majority of legislators on both sides of the aisle should be able to support.
On other news the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial reached a verdict. Sentencing will occur later this summer. Our National Guard and law enforcement did an outstanding job in allowing peaceful demonstrations and preventing mayhem and rioting.
Sadly, some did cross the line, with gun shots being fired at our National Guard members. Elements of the nurses’ union and the Minneapolis Park Board were overtly inhospitable and disrespectful to the presence of the National Guard and state troopers. Please, let’s all remember these fine men and women are there to protect everyone’s safety.
We received important news on the battle against chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk. Dr. Peter Larson at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary and Biomedical Science Department update us on research the legislature funded on CWD. While there are still some refinements needed, Dr. Larsen and his team are close to providing technology that will support a field test that could be used by hunters, live animal tests and environmental tests that can accurately detect CWD.
That’s great news. It is important to end the effort to put all deer and elk farmers out of business. Some individuals and groups are advocating for extermination of all farmed cervidae, I believe that is short-sighted.
We cannot create the tools necessary to effectively fight CWD unless we have live deer and elk in a controlled environment to refine these tests. We need a win for both our wild and farmed cervidae.