Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and our children are returning to school. But, as the weather cools, Minnesota politics is warming up, and I would like to provide you with a heads up on a few important developments.
September Special Session
Governor Walz, House Speaker Hortman, and former Senator Majority Leader Gazelka all agreed to give away $250 million to a yet-to-be-determined, select group of Minnesotans during a September special session. They formed a working group of nine people to determine who “front line workers” were and then refine who among them deserves to receive a taxpayer-funded bonus check for their work during the pandemic. We know that those designated as “non-essential” workers, who were told they could not open their businesses or could not work to provide for their families, will get nothing, versus those who the Governor deemed “essential” and were allowed to work. As a society, we have all endured hardships during the past 18 months. Hospitals, daycare centers, and thousands of Minnesota businesses received billions in special funding last year.
Further dividing Minnesotans is not helpful, and I do not support spending more money on the past. There is also a discussion of increasing this pool to a half-billion dollars or more. I am thankful for all of the front line workers who faced challenges and hardship during the pandemic. I also am saddened by what the Governor did to restrict the liberty of millions of Minnesotans, closing businesses, denying people work, and threatening those who tried to feed their families.
I do not support this legislation and plan to vote no.
Firing the Commissioner of DHS
Over the past year, many of you have emailed your request that I fire Commissioner Malcolm. The House of Representatives does not confirm or deny confirmation to commissioners. This is only done by the Senate and can only be done when the Senate is in session. There is a growing desire in the Senate to vote not to confirm, effectively firing Dept of Human Services Commissioner Jan Malcolm. I support the Senate having this debate. Due to more Senators supporting her ouster, Governor Walz has indicated that he may not call a special session for September. If the frontline worker pay working group submits its proposal, he may be hard-pressed not to call one to give your money away.
You can support vaccines and still not support a mandate. When government enacts a law, it enables law enforcement to use government force to compel citizens to comply. For years before COVID, I spoke at health freedom rallies in favor of vaccines but against vaccine mandates. Where there is a risk, there must be a choice. We should not forcibly vaccinate people against their will. Decades ago, Congress granted complete immunity to big pharma, so those injured or killed by vaccines cannot sue. Therefore the manufacturer has no incentive to improve the quality of their products. Before COVID, I introduced legislation calling on Congress to reinstate vaccine liability for pharmaceutical companies. I believe this more now than ever.
I will oppose any legislation that requires people to be vaccinated.
In a free society, people have limited interference by the government. You are free to travel, free to say what you want, and free to enter into a private contract or agreement with others for an exchange of goods or services. As a conservative, I constantly push back against interfering in the affairs of private transactions. Reducing regulations and mandates on businesses is important. The result is that some people are free to make bad choices, while others will find a better alternative. A free market will reward those who make the right choice. The government needs to stay out of it.
While most legislators on my side of the aisle oppose more regulations and mandates, occasionally, they try and put mandates on private businesses, large and small, to force a particular outcome. When government forces businesses to do something, it comes at a cost. It reduces freedom, it increases regulations, and it triggers lawsuits. Most regulations are accompanied by taxpayer-funded incentives to compensate businesses. In the end, a free society will reward those who make the right choices.
I also support local control. Sometimes counties, cities, or local school boards make dumb decisions. Legislators on both sides of the aisle like to push mandates Statewide, which only leads to more people being unhappy, further dividing our State. Mandates also grow government, creating more bureaucracy, regulations, and red tape.
If we have a September special session, I expect a thorough debate about health freedom as vaccine amendments are proposed to attach to a completely unrelated bill.
Thank you for being engaged in Government,
State Representative, 23B
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