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

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Views from the Capitol

Thursday, April 17, 2014



On behalf of the McDonald family, I wish you and yours a blessed Holy Week and Passover. Have safe travels as you enjoy special time with friends and loved ones.


I encourage people to stop and reflect on the sacrifices our Lord has made for us and we all can learn from Him.


As is tradition, the Minnesota Legislature is not in session this week in observance of Easter and Passover. It is good having extra time in our districts at the unofficial midpoint of the session to talk about the issues with area residents. I also enjoy extra quality time with my family and appreciate an opportunity to catch up with things at my photography studio. This is a busy week for me, just a different kind of busy.


Some important things we recently accomplished in the House were passing legislation to end taxpayer-funded abortions and providing a raise to care workers in Minnesota. Those were some silver linings to some other clouds. The House also passed a bill that raised state spending by $1.2 billion through 2017. This comes on the heels of the largest spending increase in state history they passed last year.


That bill which spent another $1.2 billion was called a supplemental budget bill. Others called it a Bailout Bill. Still others said it was the Garbage Bill. It’s all the same because the House majority took numerous unrelated items and passed them together as one big spending package. I do not approve of this governing style and would rather allow spending provisions to be voted up or down on their own merits.


Take, for example, the 5-Percent Campaign. That is a provision of the big bill which I supported. It increases funding for the home and community based services and intermediate care facilities for Minnesotans with developmental disabilities. That is the right thing to do for people whose salaries have been frozen – or worse – during the recession, even though they provide incredibly valuable services.


The bottom line is that I would prefer to vote on provisions one at a time, up or down. It is disappointing they made this political, putting a raise for care-givers in this huge bill.


Keep in mind, this is a bill that spends $1.2 billion and puts $442 million toward a struggling Obamacare program and other questionable areas. It was just last year they increased all-funds spending by $1,500 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota.


When is enough enough? You cannot keep spending more money on more and more agencies, creating an even more bloated government without considering the long-term consequences.




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