Hello from St. Paul,
Budget bills that would fund all areas of state government have finally been moving forward at the Minnesota House. The problem is, the budget being put forward by House Democrats contains tax increases of $12 billion over the next four years, and the spending proposals within each budget area contains more bad than good. Here’s a brief overview of some of the bills we’ve debated this week.
While this bill increases revenue for schools, it disproportionally increases funding to schools in Minneapolis and St Paul when compared to the schools in the rest of the state. It also takes away local control from both parents and school boards and guts Early Learning Scholarships intended to give parents choices for their child’s early education
Health and Human Services Finance
This plan will add more than $2 billion to the cost of Minnesotans' health care over the next four years, and includes changes to nursing home reimbursement rates that result in $68 million in cuts to Minnesota nursing facilities. It also ends Minnesota's reinsurance program, which will likely cause premium rates to skyrocket next year.
This proposal also misses an opportunity to combat rampant fraud in public programs. This session the non-partisan legislative auditor uncovered fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), yet this 1,100 page bill did little to prevent future fraud or address the recommendations made by the legislative auditor.
The House Democrat taxes bill raises over $3 billion in taxes over the next four years, which will result in increased consumer prices, reduced wages, and fewer job opportunities.
Also worth noting: this week Governor Walz’s revenue department analyzed his tax increase proposals and how they would impact Minnesotans. It was bad news for low and middle income Minnesotans. The data showed that the plan would increase the tax burden for Minnesotans making less than $45,000 by double digit percentages. It would also raise taxes on Minnesotans of every income level. Minnesota's tax code would also become more regressive because the proposals would significantly increase low and middle-income Minnesotans’ tax burdens much more than those with large incomes.
Many of the Governor’s proposals have found their way into the House Democrat majority’s budget plans. They include a 70% increase in the gas tax as well as raising taxes on Minnesotan’s health care. Not included in the study is paid leave legislation that has been proposed by House majority, which would cost taxpayers another $1.6 billion over four years.
Again, these are priorities I do not support.
Have a good weekend,