Hello, friends! The 2020 legislative session has begun, and I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent activities here at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Motion to Adjourn
The great American author, Mark Twain once said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” I believe this to be true. As such, on the first day of the 2020 session, I made a motion to adjourn the 2020 legislative session for the remainder of the year. As session began, state government was fully funded through June 30, 2021. Everyone agrees that there is nothing that has to be accomplished by this legislature. Four other states don't even meet during the 2nd year of the biennium. It costs Minnesota taxpayers $34,142 every day that the legislature meets. This totals over $2 million dollars for our entire 2020 legislative session. Lastly, Minnesota House Democrats have already rolled out their agenda for the session, including taking guns away from law abiding citizens, creating a brand new $1.8 billion state payroll tax on Minnesota workers and their employers, and further inserting the government between children and their parents. The risks to the hard working people of our district in having a legislative session appear to be much greater than any possible rewards they may see this session. Unfortunately, the motion failed on a voice vote. Here's a link to the floor debate on the motion.
Every new legislative session brings new ideas and new bills. I have introduced several bills designed to improve the lives of my constituents and the lives of all people across Minnesota. Here are just a few of the most recent bills I have written:
• A bill to allow constitutionally dedicated transportation funds to be distributed to all Minnesota cities regardless of population.
Currently, only cities with a population of 5,000 and higher receive these dedicated funds for municipal roads and bridges. Instead, Minnesota should award these transportation dollars proportionally to all our cities.
• A bill to allow ATVs to operate on state highways between the 30 MPH signs within municipalities.
• A bill to allow homeschool, charter, and nonpublic students to participate in extracurricular activities offered by the school districts in which they reside.
• A bonding bill to reconstruct and repair Jefferson Drive in Zumbrota, MN.
On Thursday this past week, I met with the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) regarding the costs of refugee resettlement. Many cities and counties across Minnesota spend large amounts of money to resettle refugees. Back in 2018, the OLA published a study of refugee resettlement costs. Essentially, their report said that there is no way to track and account for these costs. This is unacceptable. Our cities and counties have limited resources. We need to know what kinds of costs our cities and counties are taking on as it relates to refugee resettlement. Unfortunately, with Democrats at the wheel of government in Minnesota, this is not expected to change any time soon.
If you visit the Capitol in St. Paul, please drop by and say hello! If you know a date you will be in town, please call or email my Legislative Assistant, Luke, and he will get you on the calendar. His number is 651-296-9183 or Luke.Sprinkel@house.mn