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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, April 19, 2024


It’s that time of the legislative session where the majority brings its omnibus bills to the floor for votes from the full body. We are in the process of going through policy bills and expect finance packages to soon follow.

It will be interesting to see what twists and turns occur between now and our May 20 deadline to adjourn. Here is a look at just some of the latest issues to arise at the Capitol:


House Republicans hosted a press conference this week to call for full funding to address Minnesota's critical Emergency Medical Services shortfall of over $120 million.

This funding shortage threatens the stability of our emergency response system and ultimately puts the lives of Minnesotans at risk. The governor and the two legislative majorities recently announced a plan to spend another half a billion dollars the next three years, but only put $16 million toward the EMS crisis.

That figure is far short of what’s needed to support this essential public safety service and honor our state government’s responsibility to protect citizens. Our first responders do an incredible job and make immense sacrifices to serve us. The least we can do is provide the funding they need to do their jobs.

Besides, $120 million is just a small fraction of the $730 million Democrats spent to renovate their own office building.


Democrats who have full control of the Capitol are pushing to make Minnesota a sanctuary state. This would make our state a haven for illegal immigrants at a time we face a crisis at our nation’s southern border. They spent last year passing laws providing driver’s licenses for all, automatic voter registration, free college and even incentives to not work. This year, they have authored legislation prohibiting state or local government from cooperating with federal immigration agencies to further entice the resettlement of illegals in Minnesota.

At the same time, we are seeing reports such as this regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s illegal immigrant records:

“In FY23, CBP recorded more than 2.4 million encounters at the Southwest border and more than 3.2 million encounters nationwide. Just this fiscal year, 169 individuals on the terrorist watchlist were apprehended attempting to enter the country illegally, and at least 1.7 million known gotaways have evaded apprehension since FY2021.”

In short, millions of illegal immigrants continue crossing our border, many of which are on the terrorist watchlist or have other criminal involvement. Yet the party in full control of the Capitol is making Minnesota a relocation destination, a move which poses many risks to citizens.

Aside from social costs, there are serious questions about how much of an actual price Minnesota taxpayers have to pay to support people who are in our state illegally. House Republicans offered an amendment on the floor this week to clarify the new American grant program does not apply to illegal residents, but House Democrats turned that down. During debate, a fellow Republican asked a simple question: What percentage of our state budget should be spent on people here illegally? The question was posed to 10 different DFL members, and each one refused to answer. Click here for a clip of how this unfolded in the House chamber.

This is unacceptable. Hardworking citizens of Minnesota who try to do the right things are suffering enough and need help. Not only are some of these citizens not getting help, but our government also is redistributing their tax dollars to people who came to our state illegally.


Tax Day was this week and the income tax obligations for most Minnesotans have now been met. Here’s the problem: People continue to feel the pain of increased everyday tax burdens thanks to the decisions made by a Democrat-controlled state government.

Last year, Democrats raised taxes on Minnesotans by $10 billion despite an $18 billion state surplus and continue to find new ways to take more money out of family budgets. Of the $10 billion in Democrat tax hikes, only $3 billion of it has gone into effect and it’s going to get worse. For example, one-party Democrat control voted to make everything you order to your door more expensive. Their new delivery tax takes effect in 11 weeks.

With rising gas, groceries, mortgage rates, and energy prices, we must work to eliminate wasteful government spending so we can deliver permanent tax relief for Minnesota families to help you afford everyday necessities. This starts with fully eliminating the state tax on Social Security.

Have a good weekend and please let me know how I can help.



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