Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Keep an eye out for another email and info on Facebook from me in the coming weeks about a listening session I’ll be hosting in Ramsey sometime in late April or early May. We had productive conversations about our community’s concerns and priorities at my Anoka listening session in January. With a lot of important decisions set to be made at the Capitol in the next month, I want to host another one to hear about how legislative proposals will impact your everyday lives.
Here’s me holding the massive, 1,043-page "omnibus" health and human services bill that will be debated and voted on in the coming weeks. This is one of several large bills – spanning numerous topics and containing controversial policies – that Democrats are pushing this year.
Bills of this size reduce the legislature's transparency and accountability. They make it difficult for the public to follow the process and know what’s being voted on - allowing lawmakers to hide unpopular policies.
That's why bills in the legislature should contain only one subject. I support putting an end to this practice, and I’m proud to coauthor legislation this year to ask voters if the use of omnibus bills should be stopped.
Proposed Tax Increases
As I mentioned above, the House Democrat majority has recently assembled omnibus bills to fund various areas of state government. These bills are set to come before the House as a whole by the end of April.
Although I’m hopeful we can make improvements to these bills before they arrive at the governor’s desk, I’m very concerned with the state they’re currently in. One of my biggest concerns is the huge tax increases that these bills rely on. Last Monday, Democrats unveiled their tax bill, which alone includes over $4 billion in tax increases over the next four years.
This represents a large portion of the eye-opening $12 billion in new taxes Democrats are proposing for the next four years. This massive tax hike is highlighted by a 20 cent per gallon gas tax increase as well as a tax on nearly all healthcare services. I’ve heard from many of you about how a 20 cent per gallon gas tax hike would negatively affect you and your family. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to please contact me to share how paying more at the pump would impact your everyday life.
As we’re considering these hefty tax increases, it’s important to keep in mind that Minnesota still has a $1 billion budget surplus. In a time of such a healthy surplus, new taxes should be out of the question.
Republicans in the Senate have put forth a budget that makes investments in priorities without raising taxes by $12 billion. This is a much better approach and I’m hopeful we can work with them to avoid placing such a large tax burden on Minnesotans.
WWI Veterans Plaque
I’m authoring a bill this year to recognize the sacrifices and bravery of all of Minnesota’s World War I veterans with a memorial plaque in the court of honor at the Capitol. This memorial is a small gesture to remember and honor the enormous sacrifices that these veterans made on behalf of our nation. In addition, the fiscal note for this bill came back at zero, meaning it will come at no new cost to taxpayers. As a retired Marine Corps veteran, I’m proud to author this legislation, which has made all the necessary committee stops and can now be taken up for a vote by the House as whole.
Please Contact Me
Please feel free to contact me anytime to share questions or concerns you have on any legislative matter. I can best be reached by phone at 651-296-1729 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.