The 2023 legislative session concluded late last month, and it will most likely be remembered for the massive increase in state spending (more than 40 percent) while raising taxes by $10 billion despite a $17.5 billion state surplus.
In terms of real numbers, the new two-year budget grows the state budget from $52 billion to $72 billion. Tax hikes include raising the gas tax and tying it to inflation, increasing vehicle license tab fees, adding a delivery tax, a new payroll tax that will hit employers and employees alike, and more.
Families living in our communities are struggling under the weight of inflation that has caused prices for everyday goods and services to soar to levels not seen in recent history. That’s why it is so disappointing that Democrats in the House, Senate, and Governor Walz were unwilling to work with us to provide the tax relief that Minnesotans deserved and to help put more money back in your pocket. Instead, all of us will be forced to pay for their reckless spending as families continue to suffer.
I am disappointed that Democrats in the House, Senate, and Governor Walz failed to support a full elimination of the state’s Social Security tax despite nearly universal support for that move among the public. It is also concerning that Governor Walz began the legislative session by supporting $2,000 surplus rebates for joint filers, with the final amount accounting for just a fraction of that at $260 per person or $520 per couple.
Aside from state finances, Democrats enacted several highly controversial, partisan policy measures. This includes adopting some of the world’s most extreme abortion policies, enacting a state-funded speech registry that could undermine First Amendment rights, and trampling on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Minnesotans. Additionally, a Democrat provision will end electronic pull tabs as we know them, dealing a major financial blow to local charitable organizations.
Many of you reached out this year to share your concerns about gun control provisions that were moving through the legislature. Despite our best efforts, two controversial gun control provisions that place additional burdens on law-abiding Minnesotans and fail to uphold due process have been signed into law. This was just the latest example of Democrats creating barriers for law-abiding gun owners instead of holding criminals accountable.
Thankfully, Republicans were able to score a big win for nursing homes by successfully negotiating $300 million more than Democrats had proposed providing them. This added funding will help the industry at a time when nursing homes have been forced to close and families have been left scrambling to find care for their loved ones.
Staying in Touch
While the legislative session may be over, my work on your behalf does not end. I encourage you to continue reaching out to my office if you need assistance in a matter related to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-3172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a good day,