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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Erik Mortensen (R)

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Saturday, April 10, 2021


The legislature returned from Easter recess this week and committees are in full swing as they begin the hearing process for their Omnibus bills. These Omnibus bills are massive multi-subject pieces of legislation that normally get wrapped up together into one bill per committee but this year the House Democrats are consolidating them even further. These Frankenstein bills are unconstitutional as they violate Article 4, Section 17 of the Minnesota State Constitution. They encompass dozens of dangerous policy changes with of course a handful of very good ideas that the House Democrats will use to beat up Republican opponents in the 2022 election.   

They do this because it creates a win-win scenario for the majority party – in this case Democrats.  If some weaker Republicans fall for the trick and vote for these unconstitutional Omnibus bills the Democrats get to say their bill was “bipartisan”.  If Republicans vote against these unconstitutional Omnibus bills, the Democrats will cherry pick the good parts of the bill and claim Republicans are bad people because they voted against those cherry-picked items.  This is exactly what the DFL is going to do in regards to the PPP issue in the Tax Omnibus bill. 

You can watch my video update below.

Wk Updt


Omnibus Bills

When I ran to be the Representative for District 55A, one of the things I ran on was to put an end to these massive multi-subject bills commonly referred to as Omnibus bills. These are bills presented by the committee chairs that encompass multiple subjects and cost billions of dollars each. The most striking this year would likely have to be the massive $1.5 billion in tax increases that came out of transportation this week. Those tax increases include a new gas tax, more sales tax increases, and increases in fines and registration fees for tabs.

This year the practice of using these Omnibus bills has been abused by the Majority and used as a tool to silence the Minority. The House has operated remotely most of this year and all committees have been held via zoom. This new forum allows committee chairs to silence debate on bills in the interest of time. Instead of single subject bills moving out of committee by voting, the chair will lay the bill over to include in their omnibus bill. This process has no vote. This week we saw the result of this as the omnibus bills were dropped and heard in committee. It became painfully obvious this was not popular by either side but still Democrats refuse to break from their party and force these massive tax increases on the backs of Minnesotans.

Watch my video below that explains these omnibus bills, and walks you through why this is such a bad idea.

Omni bad

Calling for Relief when Politicians Fail

In Taxes I attempted to amend their massive omnibus bill. My amendment would have ceased all state taxation in the event of a state government shutdown. This would mean the cost of EVERYTHING would go down and every Minnesotans income would go up during state shutdowns because there would be no gas tax, no liquor tax, no tobacco tax, no sales taxes whatsoever AND no state income taxes stolen from your paycheck.  The goal is to make shutdowns less palatable for politicians to use as a political tool.

Just as Governor Walz has repeatedly used government force to shutdown private businesses thereby choking off those businesses’ revenue streams, my amendment sought to choke off the state governments revenue should the state government shutdown.  It only seems fair to treat the public sector in the same fashion as the state has treated the private sector.  However, the Democrats on the Tax Committee apparently don’t agree in equitable outcomes like this as they voted down my amendment.  Video below.

Amend to Tax Omni



This morning Governor Walz held a press conference to announce his expansion of vaccine eligibility expansion. This new expansion means that anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive a vaccine starting Tuesday March 30th. This comes after the Federal Government has drastically increased the number of vaccines the state is receiving, and as we have already vaccinated 80% of those 65 and older. Below are some tools that you can use to help find vaccines closest to you. The Star Tribune has an article HERE on how to get your vaccine. 

  • Sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get updates on vaccine opportunities and to be entered into the random selection process for the state's Community Vaccination Program sites.
  • Search for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment near you by using the CDC’s Vaccine Finder.
  • Use the Vaccine Locator Map to find local vaccine providers in your area


Heating assistance

There is still assistance available to income-eligible households (both owners and renters) for home heating bills and furnace repairs. The State's Energy Assistance Program can help by providing financial assistance, such as:

  •       Pay past due energy bills to avoid disconnection
  •       Purchase fuel for delivery in emergencies
  •       Repair or replace homeowners' malfunctioning furnaces.

The application period is open until May 31 this year, and you can find more information and links to apply at the Minnesota Department of Commerce website


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at

Watch the Minnesota House on Public TV

Video: Streaming Website. Also you can watch committees and Floor Sessions on YouTube.