The legislature is back in action this week. You can feel the energy shift in St. Paul as committees put together their omnibus bills and the budget starts to take shape. Of course there is a whole lot of nonsense that the DFL is trying to include in many of these bills, so here are some of the highlights from the week.
The House DFL just can’t bring themselves to fully support businesses. They released their tax bill on Monday which included protections for businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, but they capped the relief at $350,000!
This is totally absurd and unacceptable. Government forced businesses to shut their doors early in the pandemic. For the past year, businesses have operated with capacity restrictions. There is no way business owners can now afford to pay taxes on PPP loans that they spent in order to survive. Every PPP loan needs to be completely forgiven. It is shameful that government is trying to profit off of businesses after forcing them to change their operations during COVID. I will fight against this cap and make sure that all PPP loans are 100% exempted.
You read that right, folks. The gas tax is back! The House DFL tried to sneak this one in; they didn’t hold a single hearing on the more than $1.5 billion in tax and fee hikes in their Transportation Omnibus bill. Democrats are proposing a $350 million gas tax increase and a billion dollar light rail tax hike. In addition, they are pushing for hundreds of millions in other tax and fee hikes, such as an increase in registration and tab fees, and an increase to the Motor Vehicle Sales tax.
Minnesotans cannot afford these new taxes. It is simply astonishing that when the state has a $1.6 billion surplus and billions of dollars expected from the federal government Democrats still try to raise our taxes. The gas tax failed miserably the last time the DFL tried to pass it, and I will fight to make sure history repeats itself.
This week I introduced two bills to help us uncover the truth about COVID-19 in Minnesota. Like many, there are two major questions I want answered: Where did the decision come from to send hospital patients to nursing homes? Were COVID-19 deaths appropriately counted?
We have a duty in the legislature to provide oversight of the executive branch. It is appalling to me that the House has not held a single hearing to find out why Gov. Walz took certain actions during COVID. This state is not run by one man. My colleagues and I have been elected to serve you and fight for your voice to be heard in government. I am going to keep fighting to make sure we know exactly what happened in the Walz Administration during the pandemic.