It’s been a busy week in St. Paul as we have spent most of our time debating and voting on the House Democrat majority’s supplemental omnibus budget bills. Last year, lawmakers passed a two-year budget for the state of Minnesota. This means that government is already fully funded, so any spending approved this year would go above and beyond what was agreed to during the last legislative session.
In total, House Democrats are looking to increase government spending by more than $7 billion—using up the majority of the state’s $9.3 billion budget surplus on growing government, not returning the surplus to the taxpayers, Where It Belongs!
I have long advocated a different approach, one that would see the surplus returned to taxpayers. For me, it’s clear that the surplus belongs to the hardworking people of Minnesota, and you deserve your money back.
Supplemental budget bills in the areas of Legacy funding, agriculture finance, housing, broadband, state government, transportation, veterans, pensions, education finance, environment, public safety, and higher education have all been approved or are expected to be approved by the House majority this week.
Each of these legislative packages had provisions included that I would have supported if given a chance to vote on them as standalone bills. Unfortunately, I must consider the whole of the package when determining how to vote on an omnibus bill. Taking that into account, the dramatic increase in spending and several extreme policy provisions prevented me from voting for these bills.
I have spoken with so many of you who are confused and ask me, “Why did you vote (Yes/No) on Bill ABC, when I know you (do/don’t) support XYZ? It is a good question, and one that is hard to explain in a short period of time. It is because the part I like, or don’t like, is buried in an omnibus bill that contains multiple bills across multiple subjects.
For example, we voted on an omnibus bill this week that had multiple bills from 4 different committees. That is clearly outside of our constitution. Article IV, section 17, known as the Single Subject and Title Clause, became part of the Minnesota Constitution during the Constitutional Convention in 1857
If you have questions about my votes on any of these supplemental budget bills, please reach out to me. I would love to chat with you about my thought process on each of these.
Looking forward, I expect most of the controversial policies and spending provisions in the supplemental budget bills to be removed when the House and Senate meet in conference committee to hash out differences.
This week, I spent time speaking to students at Centennial High about my time on the former East German border with the 103rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division. I spoke about the fall of the Berlin wall, defeating socialism, fighting communism and American exceptionalism.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 651-296-2907.
Stay Strong and Stay Free!