The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!
Buckle your seatbelts, my friends. We now know exactly what an all-DFL controlled state government looks like. Higher taxes that will hit small businesses the hardest, a government-controlled healthcare exchange with 3.5% premium taxes, gun control proposals, and unionizing childcare providers and personal care attendants! Did I mention they want to tax snack food now? With two young growing boys and a teenage daughter, I’m going to need to find some more coupons to pay for their snack food. I can already see their hungry little faces and my empty wallet with that new tax in place.
Last night, the House took up the conference committee version of the government health exchange bill. If you can believe it, it actually came back WORSE than when the House initially passed it. The worst part was that it no longer contained the provision that prohibited abortion coverage that had previously passed the House on a bipartisan vote. I commend DFL Rep. Patti Fritz of Faribault for putting forward that pro-life amendment. It’s too bad her party’s leadership refused to keep it in the bill. You can watch my remarks on the bill on the House floor here.
Earlier in the day yesterday, Governor Dayton put forward his revised budget proposal. While the governor dropped several tax increases, he continues to push for a new fourth tier income tax that would hit small businesses the hardest. If Governor Dayton is successful in imposing that new tax, it’s going to be hard to convince the small businesses in our area from the allure of moving to North Dakota.
I’m also deeply concerned about a DFL proposal that would impose new energy mandates on our families and businesses. One bill proposes have a 40% renewable energy mandate by 2030. What does this mean for you? Skyrocketing electricity bills. I checked – there are no coupons to help offset that cost to your bottom line. This is just another mandate that will send businesses flying out of our state – and perhaps some families too.
For some good news, I found out that my whiskey distillery bill (House File 940) that would allow Panther Distillery in Osakis to offer a 15 ml tasting of each product was included in the omnibus liquor bill and is on track to pass with bipartisan support. This provision will reduce the regulations on Panther Distillery so they can sell more of their product. Great for business and spirit connoisseurs alike! Cheers!
On Saturday, I will be holding my usual morning coffee meetings with constituents from 8:30 to 9:30 at the Alexandria Caribou.
As the legislative session moves forward, I will continue to keep you updated. For legislative updates, you can “like” my official Facebook page. Also, if you are on Twitter, you can follow me at @RepMaryFranson.
I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.