This week the Governor released his supplemental budget proposal. When the state has a $7.7 billion surplus, we should be looking at ways to cut government spending, not spend more and set Minnesota on an unsustainable trajectory.
According to recent census data, nearly 13,500 people moved from Minnesota to another state from April 2020 through July 1, 2021. This statistic makes Minnesota the eighth highest state for population loss. There are very good reasons why so many of our neighbors flee to Florida, Arizona, or Georgia (just a few states who have the highest domestic net migration.) People want to live in a state where their taxes are low and their businesses are able to flourish. A $7.7 billion surplus is clear evidence that our state has a taxing problem.
Still, Gov. Walz wants to spend more instead of giving the surplus back through meaningful tax reform. Some of the ways Walz wants to spend more of your tax dollars include $200 million for another light rail extension, this time for the Blue Line from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park. The cost of the light rail has TRIPLED over the past ten years – from $1.1 billion to now nearly $3 billion or more. We need to be focusing on lanes, not trains to keep Minnesotans safe on the roads.
We need to focus this session on providing relief for businesses and families who are dealing with the effects of inflation and a supply crisis every day. Now is the time to pass meaningful tax reform, like cutting social security taxes, so that all Minnesotans can thrive.
This week, the Echo Press reported on the critical labor shortage for construction workers in the Alexandria labor. The Vikingland Builders of Association of Alexandria is trying to meet the need for new workers with a new scholarship for students entering a building trade program. I encourage students and families to look into different pathways for after graduation. Minnesota is going to need a strong, diverse workforce to meet the labor demands of the future. To learn more about the application process, contact Vikingland Builders Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.