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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jordan Rasmusson (R)

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Previewing tax relief and more in store for 2022 session

Thursday, January 6, 2022

By Rep. Jordan Rasmusson

The 2022 legislative session starts Jan. 31 and, even though this is not an official budget year, our state's $7.7 billion surplus puts finances front and center at the Capitol.

Our state government is flush with cash at a time Minnesotans are still struggling with inflation at its highest levels in 30 years. This historic surplus provides us with opportunities to deliver meaningful relief to taxpayers who have been overcharged.

Let's start by eliminating state taxes on Social Security to make Minnesota a more welcoming home for seniors – especially those on fixed incomes.

We also should act quickly to eliminate the scheduled tax increase on Minnesota businesses due to record-setting unemployment claims depleting Minnesota's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

There is no reason to be raising taxes on businesses that are already struggling with inflation and supply chain issues when our state has an overabundance of revenue. In fact, allowing this tax increase to continue will only exacerbate our rising inflation.

Public safety also is an issue likely to receive significant attention in light of violent crime soaring in our state. While the crime wave geographically has centered on the Twin Cities area, this issue matters to all Minnesotans.

We must make sure our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to keep us safe, both at the state and local levels. I recently met with the Otter Tail County sheriff and county attorney to discuss a variety of issues relative to their efforts and I appreciate the good work they and their offices do.

To get a grip on surging crime, we should first better enforce laws that already are on the books. Light sentences or even a failure to charge some criminals has resulted in a higher number of repeat offenses. The 2020 Minnesota Department of Corrections Annual Performance Report states that since 2011, roughly one-fourth of incarcerated offenders released each year have returned to prison with a new felony conviction within three years of release.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission has issued a controversial proposal to reduce sentences for repeat criminals. The move would get rid of the "in custody" point on the sentencing grid and reportedly would mean "judges would no longer be able to take into consideration whether the offender committed the crime while in custody, on probation or on supervised release." 

This move - supported by Gov. Walz's administration and appointees to the commission - to reduce sentences for repeat criminals would be a step in the wrong direction. I vehemently oppose this move and recently co-signed a letter along with numerous fellow House members urging the commission to reject this proposal.

I look forward to working on these and other important issues as we move through the 2022 session and beyond. As always, your input is valuable to me as we face difficult decisions. You can best reach me by emailing or by calling (651) 296-4946.