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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Anderson (R)

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Legislature completes budget work, adjourns

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


ST. PAUL – The 2023 session concluded Monday and Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, said it will be most remembered for Democrats increasing state spending by more than 40 percent and increasing taxes by record amounts despite a historic state surplus.

Anderson said the new two-year state budget will increase spending from $52 billion to $72 billion and raise taxes by almost $10 billion. This includes raising the state’s gas tax by 3.5 cents per gallon and tying it to inflation, increasing license tab fees, adding a 50-cent delivery tax, applying a new payroll tax that will hit employers and employees alike, and more.

“With such a large surplus we really had a chance to help Minnesota families and businesses this session by easing the impact higher prices is having on people in today’s economy,” Anderson said. “Instead, many of those dollars were put toward expanding our state budget by at least 40 percent, which will have ongoing impacts by committing taxpayers to future spending.”

Meanwhile, Anderson said Democrats failed to provide a full elimination of the state’s Social Security tax despite nearly universal support for that move. And, after Gov. Tim Walz began the session by supporting $2,000 surplus rebates for joint filers, Anderson said Democrats ultimately approved just a fraction of that amount – $260 per person, or $520 per couple.

Anderson said legislative Republicans scored a big win for nursing homes by successfully negotiating for $300 million more than Democrats had proposed. Anderson said this added funding will help that industry at a time nursing homes have been forced to close and families have been left scrambling to find care for their loved ones.

The additional nursing home funding was the lynch pin to bipartisan agreement on a $2.6 billion package to fund infrastructure projects throughout Minnesota. For Anderson’s District 12B, funding was provided for Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management ($12.8 million), the city of Beardsley ($2 million) and Central Square in Glenwood ($4 million).

“Local bonding projects and increased funding for nursing homes are two nice wins we had this session despite some of the headwinds we were facing,” Anderson said. “And I’m glad we were successful with dedicating an overpass by Glenwood in honor of the late Deputy Josh Owen.”

Aside from state finances, Anderson indicated Democrats enacted several highly controversial, partisan policy measures. He said this includes adopting some of the world’s most extreme abortion policy, enacting a state-funded speech registry that could undermine First Amendment rights, and declaring Minnesota a sanctuary state for transgender healthcare – for children. In addition, Anderson said a Democrat provision will end electronic pull tabs as we know them, dealing a major blow to local charitable organizations.