The 2020 legislative session officially began on Tuesday as lawmakers returned to St. Paul for what’s sure to be another busy year. This year’s session begins with state government fully funded, our budget reserves at an all-time high, and a $1.3 billion budget surplus.
While it was a relatively uneventful first week, I expect things to ramp up as we work towards our first committee deadline on March 13th.
With a $1.3 billion budget surplus, I plan on prioritizing tax relief for Minnesota families this session and will oppose any Democrat proposals to raise taxes and grow the size of government. We should explore eliminating the unfair tax on social security for our seniors and other tax relief measures that return the surplus to Minnesotans.
I would also like to see the state’s “sick tax” repealed. This tax is levied on most patient services in Minnesota, including things like baby deliveries, chemotherapy treatments, routine doctor visits, emergency room visits, and more—directly raising the cost of healthcare for every Minnesotan.
It’s a fundamentally unfair tax that punishes folks for getting sick. With a large surplus, we should look to eliminate it.
Another top priority this session will be addressing the issues that have impacted the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) this summer and fall. Almost every day, I hear from folks that are frustrated with the endless news of chaos, misspending, and mismanagement at DHS.
Rather than forcing taxpayers to pay more and more to cover the tens of millions of dollars that Minnesota owes the federal government, DHS and its leaders should take responsibility for the mess and find those funds in their own $17 billion budget.
Either way, serious accountability, and significant reforms are needed at DHS.
Finally, as a member of the Public Safety Committee, I am looking forward to working hard to improve safety in our cities. Nearly every week, we see another news report detailing significant crime issues in the Twin Cities metro area. It’s clear that crime is on the rise and we need to work with and support law enforcement as we look at policies to reduce crime and keep Minnesotans safe.
Also, I expect Democrats to revisit controversial gun legislation that they tried to pass last year. As a strong supporter of the second amendment and a member of the Public Safety Committee, I will continue to oppose these bills and will always fight to protect your constitutional right to bear arms.
Staying in Touch
Now that session has started, I will be returning to my weekly newsletter schedule so please be sure to keep an eye on your email inbox as I keep you up to date on what’s happening in St. Paul.
As always, please be sure to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4293 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,