LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. JEREMY MUNSON - DISTRICT 23B
Friday March 22nd, 2022
This past week we broke ground to expand US Highway 14 from Mankato to New Ulm. But unfortunately, we were missing one of the key architects of securing the funding for this new project; Congressman Jim Hagedorn. Jim advocated for this project at every opportunity. I even remember carrying the "US14" highway sign, walking in a parade alongside him. He deserves recognition for his work on this project.
He also would have enjoyed my suggestion to introduce legislation, renaming Hwy 14 the "President Donald J. Trump Highway."
This project will increase the safety of highway 14 and is welcomed by most in the community. I have heard from families losing their property to eminent domain and concerns about businesses impacted by the road closures. I have also heard from families who lost loved ones on this sometimes treacherous road. This project has been in the works for over twenty years, and I am glad to see it progressing.
The DFL wants to spend more of your money
Yesterday, House Democrats rolled out their budget resolution for the 2022 legislative session. In their resolution, Democrats would add $7.36 billion to the already $51.7 billion two-year budget approved in June of 2021 – a 10% increase over the previous two-year budget period. That $51.7 billion budget fully funded State government through June of 2023. However, this additional spending would increase Minnesota’s state budget to roughly $59 billion.
This Democrat budget resolution shows just how detached the Minnesota DFL has become. This resolution would increase spending by $7.36 billion for the largest budget in the state's history. The kicker is that the State government is already fully funded. Even worse, this money is all one-time money from taxes that the democrats want to spend on massive projects with recurring costs. People are now watching their finances get ripped apart by inflation, and the Democrat response is to put together a bloated, thoughtless spending plan that will help no one.
The State of Minnesota also has a projected budget surplus of $9.2 billion. Additionally, the State government has three other reserve accounts, which would increase this surplus to over $12 billion. We should not be increasing spending by one dime. Instead, we need to take this record surplus and give it back to the people by slashing state taxes and eliminating the state tax on social security benefits. After the last two years, we need to be helping people by giving their over-collected taxes back, not finding new ways to spend it.
Welcoming Genesis Academy to the Capitol
The Minnesota legislature gaveled into session this past Wednesday, electing a new Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, Minority Leader, and Chief Clerk - all students of the Genesis Classical Academy in Winnebago, MN.
After the prayer and Pledge of the Allegiance, the Speaker took the roll of the house and started on the calendar of the day. HF100, A bill for an act banning cell phone use in all schools, was introduced by its chief author from Faribault County.
A healthy debate ensued, with several members bringing up relevant arguments for and against the bill. A member from Blue Earth County offered an amendment to allow phone use between classes, but not during, to reduce distractions in the classroom. This appeared to be more agreeable to the body and likely saved HF100 from being voted down on the House floor.
A member called for a roll call vote, and having received the 15 hands required for such an action, and the official vote was recorded. The Amendment passed, 28-14.
On the third reading, the debate continued on HF100, as amended, with many members debating both sides. On final passage, HF100 passed with 30 Ayes and 12 Nays, and the Speaker of the House firmly dropped the gavel to adjourn the session.
Thank you to the students, parents, and staff at Genesis Classical Academy for coming to St Paul for a tour and participating in an interactive mock-floor session!
I truly enjoy teaching students about the legislative process and watching them debate bills, learn to compromise, and take tough votes. The kids enjoy voting, standing to be recognized, and using the House microphones. Senator Draheim joined us for an hour-long discussion afterward about their ideas for bills.
Thank you for being engaged in Government,
State Representative, 23B
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or me. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely, so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at Grayson.email@example.com.