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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Heinrich (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Heinrich

Friday, May 03, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The House continued its work this week by passing the remaining omnibus finance bills. I continue to hold numerous concerns with the spending, taxing, and bad policy provisions in these bills. Despite a $1 billion budget surplus, Democrats’ bills would take more money from Minnesota families through excessive taxes and fees. The next step is conference committee, where members of the House and Senate will come together to work out the differences in their respective budget bills. During this process, I’m hopeful the Republican Senate can help improve these bills before they go to the governor.

Holding all of Democrats' omnibus bills, which make for an expensive, inflated state budget that raises taxes by $12 billion while cutting nursing homes by $68 million and funding pay raises for legislators.

Ramsey Listening Session May 11

In order to hear your feedback and concerns, I’m hosting a listening session/town hall meeting at the City of Ramsey Municipal Center from 10:00 am – 11:00 am next Saturday, May 11. This event is open to the public; anyone is invited to stop by to ask questions and offer input on legislative matters, as well as learn more about my priorities for the remainder of the legislative session. The event will be held in the Lake Itasca Room at the City of Ramsey Municipal Center at 7550 Sunwood Drive NW Ramsey, MN 55303.

From transportation funding to taxes to healthcare, a lot of consequential decisions will be made at the legislature in the coming weeks. That’s why I want to hear from our community about how the proposals will affect your everyday lives. Your feedback will be important as I continue my efforts to fund local transportation projects and help create a responsible state budget. I look forward to seeing you there and please feel free to contact me with any questions about the event.

Gas Tax/Transportation

On Monday, the House approved the transportation budget bill, which increases the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon – a 70% increase. The 20-cent per gallon increase would give Minnesota the fourth highest gas tax in the country and the package collectively raises taxes by more than $4 billion over the next four years.

The bill also takes auto parts sales tax revenue dedicated to transportation and transfers it into our state’s general fund. This move would reverse the investments the legislature made last year to fund roads and bridges without a gas tax hike.

Raising the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon would ultimately increase the price of living, driving, or running a business in Minnesota. Making strong investments in our roads and bridges does not require increasing gas taxes or other fees. Instead, the necessary funds can come from Republican proposals like dedicating existing auto parts sales tax revenue. With a revenue source set aside and a state budget surplus exceeding $1 billion, there’s no need to be talking about a gas tax hike.

Speaking on the House floor on the transportation bill.

Star Tribune Tax Report

On a related note, last week, the Star Tribune reported that Governor Walz’s Department of Revenue released a report confirming that his tax plan would hit low and middle-income Minnesotans the hardest. The report indicated that, under the governor’s plan, Minnesotans making under $45,000 would see double-digit percent increases in their tax burdens. The Star Tribune's headline made it clear: "Lowest-income Minnesotans hit hardest by Gov. Tim Walz's tax plan".

Health and Human Services

It takes all six GOP freshmen to hold the Democrats' 1,100 page health and human services omnibus bill! This bill raises healthcare costs, taxes healthcare services, cuts nursing home funding, and fails to stop widespread fraud in childcare and other public programs. Its size also reduces transparency and makes it difficult for the public to follow the process and know what's in it.

Please Contact Me

Please feel free to contact me anytime to share questions or concerns you have on any legislative matter. I can be reached at 651-296-1729 or rep.john.heinrich@house.mn.

Have a great weekend,

John

 

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