Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

Back to profile

Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, March 4, 2022

Dear Friends,

It was another busy week in St. Paul. This morning, my bill to provide funding to Parkers Prairie to design and construct a new veterans memorial park along Trunk Highway 29 received a hearing in Capitol Investments. I was so pleased that Jim Arvidson and Tony Woodworth were able to testify in favor of this bill!

New Budget Forecast Shows $9.25 Billion Surplus

On Monday Minnesota Management and Budget released the February budget forecast, showing a projected $9.25 billion surplus — up from the $7.75 billion surplus in the December forecast.

Minnesota has a taxing problem. It is unconscionable that the state has a $9.25 billion surplus while families and businesses are struggling amidst inflation and a supply chain crisis. Minnesotans are facing higher prices for gas, groceries, and energy bills under the Biden/Walz economy. Now is the time to pass meaningful, permanent tax reform. We also need to end the social security tax and replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund to help our families and businesses thrive.

UI Deadline Looms

There's less than two weeks to go until businesses are hit with a massive tax increase as a result of House Democrats playing politics with refilling the unemployment insurance trust fund. The Senate passed their UI bill two weeks ago on a veto-proof bipartisan vote. Gov. Walz, House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats all support full UI relief but House Democrats continue to play political games and hold it hostage for unrelated issues.

The Walz administration confirmed earlier this month that the current Democrat proposal on unemployment insurance, which only partially refills the trust fund back to $0, would result in six years of tax increases on Minnesota businesses. 

With inflation at its highest in 40 years, supply chain issues, workforce challenges, and more, House Democrats are pushing a bill that would punish businesses with six years of higher taxes at a time when our state has a $9.25 billion surplus.

GOP Public Safety Plan

House Republicans released our plan to curb the crime wave that all communities in Minnesota are facing. Our plan focuses on crime prevention and accountability for criminals, police recruitment and retention, and holding the criminal justice system accountable.

I will always stand up for the safety of all Minnesotans. No one should not feel safe in their neighborhood. I will continue supporting our law enforcement and making sure criminals are held accountable.

Calling on President Biden to Make U.S. Energy Independent

This week I joined my House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to make our country energy independent. The conflict in Ukraine has only emphasized the importance of American energy independence.

We also urged the Biden Administration to reconsider its decision to cancel mineral leases in Minnesota. We can source all the critical mineral and precious metals that are needed to produce important technologies right here in our state. We can do this safely and, most importantly, without depending on child labor. President Biden needs to reconsider cancelling the mineral leases not only for American energy independence, but also for human rights. You can read our full letter here.

Vote to Audit Southwest Light Rail

Yesterday the House voted on a bipartisan bill to audit the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project. SWLRT continues to be a burden to all Minnesota taxpayers. It has been a decade since we began the attempt at building the light rail. During that time, the cost has nearly tripled from $1 billion to $2.75 billion.

I joined my fellow House Republicans in fighting these unnecessary and high-cost projects and voted to audit the SWLRT project. We must be good stewards of your tax dollars and not waste funds on a multibillion dollar boondoggle.

Mask Changes at the Capitol

This week the Speaker announced that the mask mandate that is still in place for the State Office Building, despite the mask mandate for the House Floor being removed last week, will be lifted beginning Monday. Isn’t it amazing how the science showed that it was safe to go maskless on the House Floor weeks before it was safe for the State Office Building? Science!