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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Donald Raleigh (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. Donald Raleigh

Friday, March 11, 2022

Dear Neighbors,

It’s been another busy week in St. Paul as I continue to do my best representing you, your family, and our awesome communities in the legislature. Here’s a brief recap of this past week.

Southwest Light Rail Audit Moves Forward

Last week, I voted in support of and the Minnesota House approved legislation that would require the non-partisan legislative auditor to perform a special review of the beleaguered Southwest Light Rail transit project.

This project continues to be a burden on all of Minnesota’s taxpayers in the 10+ years since construction started. During that time, the cost has nearly tripled from $1 billion to $2.75 billion. As the project continues to sputter, unelected officials at the Metropolitan Council have continued to throw more of your tax dollars at the problem.


While last week’s bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, I was nevertheless disappointed that amendments offered by House Republicans that would have frozen spending on the project until the completion of the audit, or end the project altogether were defeated by the House majority.

Sadly, this project has become the poster child of government mismanagement. I am committed to providing badly needed oversight and to continue being a good steward of your tax dollars.

Unemployment Insurance Deadline Looming

Minnesota businesses could be facing a significant tax increase if legislation isn’t approved by March 14th to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance (UI) trust fund.

Fortunately, Minnesota has a $9.3 billion budget surplus—meaning we have more than enough resources to completely refill this fund and avoid massive tax increases on businesses. Unfortunately, inaction from the House Democrat majority means that there is a real possibility that these tax increases will take effect.

There’s a bipartisan bill that would repay the unemployment insurance trust fund and is supported by Governor Walz, House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and most Senate Democrats. The bill passed the Senate weeks ago on a bipartisan, veto-proof vote but has been stuck in Ways and Means and is still not scheduled to receive a hearing. 

It’s time for my colleagues to join us in supporting the passage of this bill and repay the unemployment insurance trust fund so that businesses who are already struggling with inflation and supply chain challenges do not feel further pain.

Staying in Touch

As always, I am happy to answer questions! You can reach me at or via phone at 651-296-2907.

Stay Strong and Stay Free!