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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim Miller (R)

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Governor Walz and Tax Increases    

I am a member of the Tax Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. This week, the committee heard about the Governor’s proposed budget and the tax increases that come with it. I was very troubled by what I heard.

Governor Walz is proposing multiple new taxes. He wants to create a new income tax bracket, raise corporate franchise taxes from 9.8% to 11.25% and increase taxes on cigarettes. Furthermore, the Governor wants to create an additional 1.5% tax on capital gains and dividends. Finally, Governor Walz proposed a reinstatement of the $2.7 million estate tax exclusion. This would target the generational wealth of many hardworking Minnesotans. The people with the highest tax increases will simply find ways to protect their income, leave the state, or pass their tax burden on to lower-income Minnesotans in the form of higher prices for consumers or layoffs for employees.

These policies are wrong for Minnesota, and I intend to stand against them. Minnesotans have been hit extremely hard by the economic problems caused by this pandemic. We should be looking for ways to cut spending rather than raising taxes. 

The increases to corporate franchise taxes, the additional capital gains tax, and the reinstated estate tax will be extremely detrimental to farmers. Our farmers work incredibly hard to turn a profit and provide for our state. These added burdens will only exacerbate the struggles that farms already face.

Governor Walz must change course and create a budget that does not punish rural Minnesota. I intend to voice this opinion again and again throughout the legislative session.

HF 643 – The Heartbeat Bill   

This week I introduced HF 643, a bill to prohibit abortion when an unborn child’s heartbeat is detected. Specifically, my bill would require individuals seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound. If the child’s heartbeat is present, then the abortion would be legally prohibited. My bill does include exceptions for medical emergencies.

I believe that every life is precious; the born and the unborn. Sadly, our society does not value life the way we should. Nevertheless, I am dedicated to advancing pro-life policies that recognize the sanctity of life.

In many ways, my bill is based on a simple principle. We define death by when an individual’s heart stops beating. Therefore, it only makes sense to define life by when a person’s heart starts beating.

Just the Pill  

In Minnesota, there is an organization called ‘Just the Pill.’ This organization uses telehealth visits to help distribute the RU486 abortion pill to individuals seeking to end their pregnancy. Primarily, their focus is to distribute this pill in rural Minnesota. 

I recently learned that Just the Pill intents to load up their supplies in a truck and distribute the abortion pill across small towns in western Minnesota. As I stated above, I am staunchly pro-life. Furthermore, I believe the abortion pill is morally wrong. Just the Pill’s decision to haphazardly give out the abortion pill will tragically end the lives of unborn children, but it will also dangerously impact the health of women across Minnesota.

We know that there are significant health risks for women when they end their pregnancy. To freely distribute these pills with no individual consultations with a doctor could result in serious problems. We may all have different views on abortion, but we must agree that flippancy with such a serious topic is wrong.

I will be writing legislation in the coming weeks to address this situation.

Next Week: The SAFE Act   

I serve on the Ways and Means Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. This committee controls all state spending. On Monday of next week, the Ways and Means Committee will discuss the State Aid for Emergencies (SAFE) act. This bill was proposed by Governor Walz and allocates $35 million for public safety and law enforcement resources in the Twin Cities to address potential civil unrest related to the upcoming Derek Chauvin trial.

I have no intention of voting for this bill. To be clear, I believe public safety is essential. Without police officers and first responders, our society would be thrust into chaos. However, the Minneapolis city government has expressed repeated interest in the ‘defund the police’ movement. As a matter of fact, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to cut $8 million from their own police budget. The Minneapolis Police Department is currently down 200 officers, and morale is at an all-time low due to the city council’s actions.

Despite this, Governor Walz is asking the taxpayers of Minnesota to spend $35 million when these underlying issues have not been addressed. Why should every Minnesotan pick up the public safety check for a city that cuts its own public safety budget? Governor Walz continues to take money from greater Minnesota and give it to Minneapolis politicians who refuse to take responsibility for themselves and protect their city.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller - Signature